Mitzie Hunter wins political see-saw in Scarborough-Guildwood
Vanessa Crayton, Maheen Malik and Lindsay Charlton
Liberal Mitzie Hunter was the victor after a nail biter of a vote count in her riding of Scarborough-Guildwood in the Ontario Election.
Hunter won by a very close 0.23 per cent, taking 11,965 votes or 33.35 per cent.
Coming in a close second was Progressive Conservative candidate Roshan Nallaratnam. He took 11,884 votes or 33.12 per cent.
Emotions were high, as anxious supporters waited for the final result.
Emcee for the evening at Liberal Headquarters, Katie Tsuyuki, was confident in Hunter’s re-election.
“Mitzie is the best candidate for this position because she has passion and drive. She has delivered once before and she can do it again,” she said.
In the midst of decision time, Hunter made an appearance at the Liberal Headquarters to address and thank her supporters.
“What I do know, we have done every single thing we need to do in this riding and in this community. Because we believe in the work we are doing,” she said.
Located in Toronto’s east end, Scarborough-Guildwood has a population of 102,390. The riding is bordered by Markham Road, Eglinton Avenue East, Bellamy Road and McCowan Road to the west, Highway 401 to the north, Morningside Avenue to the east and Lake Ontario to the south.
The incumbent, Hunter, was seeking re-election and wanted to continue working towards a better education and healthcare system.
“Our government is committed to ensuring everyone in Ontario has access to high-quality primary care, close to home. Today’s investment will help expand access to inter-professional primary care teams and make sure residents in Scarborough get the care they need when they need it most,” she says on her website after an initiative for better primary healthcare.
The NDP’s Tom Packwood said on his website he was determined “to bring change for the better to Scarborough-Guildwood with Andrea Horwath’s plan to turn student loans into grants, fix health care and make sure everyone has access to dental care and prescription drugs.”
An email allegedly from the PC’s Nallaratnam caused an uproar during the campaign. The email contained harsh language and vulgar remarks towards the Tamil community, although Nallaratnam released a statement saying the account where the email came from did not belong to him. Nallaratnam’s website says that “he has been very vocal on issues concerning security and family welfare,” along with working with youth in the Toronto community through sports and social awareness programs.
Linda Rice of the Greens was presented as an advocate for “pay equity, ending violence and harassment; child care; missing and murdered indigenous women, preservation of our water resources; housing issues; accessible transportation and caregiver benefit.” Rice is currently the President of the North Toronto Business and Professional Women’s Club since 2010.
Also in the running were Benjamin Mbaegbu listed with no party affiliation, George Marcos Garvida of the Trillium Party TPO), Hamid-Reza Dehnad-Tabatabaei of the Libertarian party, Heather Dunbar of The People party, and Wanda Ryan, a candidate for the Party for People with Special Needs.
In the 2014 Ontario general election, seven candidates ran in Scarbourough-Guildwood.
In that election, the Liberals won the riding by a landslide of 7,810, with 17,498 votes and 50.06 per cent of the vote. The PC candidate was second with 9,688 votes and 27.72 per cent of the vote. The New Democrat came in third with 5,915 votes and 16.92 per cent of the votes, while the Greens were in fourth place with 1,029 votes, which was a 2.94 per cent share of votes cast.
Since the 2007 general election, the riding has been held by Liberals. Margarett Best won the riding in the 2011 general election by a plurality of 6,470 taking 15,607 votes or 48.93 per cent of the vote. The PC candidate in that election, Gary Ellis, took 9,137 votes, or 28.65 per cent of the votes.