Sam Oosterhoff (born 1996/1997) is the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for the riding of Niagara-West Glanbrook. Oosterhoff is a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and was elected in a November 2016 byelection. At 19 years old, he is the youngest Ontario MPP to ever be elected. The previous record was held by Reid Scott who was elected as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation MPP in 1948 at the age of 21.
Early life and career
Oosterhoff was born and raised in Vineland, Ontario, where he lived with his parents at the time of the byelection. He is a member of the Canadian Reformed Church.
Before being nominated, Oosterhoff briefly worked as legislative assistant and policy analyst on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. At the time of his election, he was in the middle of his first year studying political science at Brock University, which he entered after being homeschooled. After his election, he planned to resume his studies in January 2017 with night classes and summer school.
In October 2016, Oosterhoff was nominated as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook to replace Tim Hudak who resigned his seat that September. Former MP and current President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Rick Dykstra was the favoured candidate by both the party establishment and PC leader Patrick Brown, but Oosterhoff had more local support, including that of his church.
Social conservatives such as Charles McVety accused Patrick Brown of muzzling Oosterhoff during the campaign because of the candidate's opposition to the new sexual education curriculum. On November 17, 2016, Oosterhoff defeated New Democratic challenger, Mike Thomas, by 9,528 votes. At 19 years old, he became the youngest person elected as an MPP. The previous record was held by Reid Scott who was elected as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation MPP in 1948 at the age of 21.
He was sworn in as an MPP on November 30, one day after Nathalie Des Rosiers who also won a byelection on November 17, was sworn in. Critics said the delay was to keep Oosterhoff out of the legislature for a vote on Bill 28 which was unanimously passed on November 29. Bill 28 made it easier for same-sex couples to become legal parents, and Oosterhoff had previously voiced objections to the bill. PC leader Brown said the delay was so that Oosterhoff could organize a celebration party for his family and supporters.
Oosterhoff is a social conservative, and believes that abortion and same-sex marriage should be illegal.
| Niagara West—Glanbrook Ontario provincial by-election, November 17, 2016: |
Resignation of Tim Hudak
|** Preliminary results — Not yet official **|
|Progressive Conservative||Sam Oosterhoff||17,651||54.00||+12.18|
|New Democratic||Mike Thomas||8,123||24.85||+2.63|
|None of the Above||Greg Vezina||342||1.05|
|Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda||Queenie Yu||76||0.23|
|Canadian Constituents'||Arthur Smitherman||44||0.13|
|Total valid votes||32,686|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||+4.78|