The Reform Party of Ontario is a political party in Ontario, Canada. Until the 1999 provincial election, the party would run one candidate each election merely to keep the party's name in the possession of the Reform Party of Canada.
Although a small group of candidates laid claim to the name, they had been forced to run under title 'Independent Reform'. As the federal Reform Party is now defunct, several independent Reformers have revived the party name and ran in the 2007 provincial election.
Federal Reform leader Preston Manning and Ontario Premier Mike Harris had a good relationship, and it was agreed that the Reform party would not campaign actively provincially in order to prevent vote-splitting. The provincial PCs returned the favour by giving some unofficial support to Reform in federal politics.
Robert Beard was the party's leader in 2002. With the end of the federal Reform Party, the RPO was deregistered in September 2003.
Subsequent to the 1995 general election, the group founded Grassroots United Against Reform's Demise to lobby for the Reform Party's participation in provincial politics. Focus Federally For Reform, which opposed an active party, was formed in response. A vast majority of Ontario Reform supporters backed Focus Federally, and Grassroots United lost their bid to have the party enter Ontario politics.
The group supporting a Reform movement in Ontario formed the Reform Association for Ontario and ran unsuccessfully in the 1995 election. The party's leader, Kimble Ainslie, alleged that Preston Manning and Mike Harris had arranged a secret deal to prevent the federal Reform Party from participating in provincial politics. Candidates were nominated in Huron—Bruce, Kitchener—Waterloo, and other ridings in London, Ontario, and won only a handful of votes.
In the 1999 Ontario election, the Reform Association for Ontario ran a candidate in Prince Edward—Hastings and in the 2003 Ontario election ran a candidate in Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound. Both were credited as "Independent Reform" candidates, and both were unsuccessful.
The Reform Association for Ontario was renamed the Reform Ontario Movement and continued to promote its agenda, including fixed election dates, a referendum on the issue of electoral reform, and more free votes in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
|Election||Candidates elected||Total votes||% of popular vote|
Note: these links point to "Reform Ontario" pages, not in anyway connected to the official Reform Party of Ontario.