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Liberal MPP for Niagara Falls quits

Kim Craitor, former MPP for Niagara Falls

By Greg Holden

A by-election will be held in Niagara Falls within six months after the resignation today of MPP Kim Craitor, a Liberal.

The vacancy means the Liberals have 49 of the 107 seats in the Ontario Legislature. The Conservatives are at 37 seats and the NDP have 20.

Craitor has held the riding since 2003, winning the seat three times. He sat on the Niagara Falls municipal council as an alderman from 1990 until 2003. As an MPP he lobbied for grandparents rights, he fought to save the Fort Erie racetrack and the closing of hospitals in his region.

Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke about Craitor’s resignation, saying, “Today, Kim Craitor advised me of his resignation and that he is stepping down as the MPP for Niagara Falls, effective immediately. Kim was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003, and has a long history of public service in his community.” Wynne wished Craitor well, ”Over the last ten years, he has served as Parliamentary Assistant in various portfolios, including Community and Social Services, Energy and Infrastructure, Tourism and Culture, and Community Safety and Correctional Services. I thank him for his service and wish him luck in his future endeavours.”

Craitor won his seat by a slim margin during the last provincial election in 2011, 16,721 votes to 16,170 for Conservative George Lepp. The by-election in Niagara Falls will be the first test of the Conservatives, to see if they fare better than in the last round of by-elections where they won only one of five seats. Craitor’s riding is also in close proximity to Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s riding and the by-election puts pressure on Hudak to win it, in spite of the convention last weekend where his party gave him resounding support.