Colle cruises to victory

Mike Colle raises an election sign in triumph
WINNING SMILES: Mike Colle raises an election sign in triumph, and wife Sharon, right, along with grandchildren, from left, Olivia, Cristian, Mackenzie and Lucia, help him celebrate.

Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle received a hero’s welcome as he stepped into California Sandwiches at 2474 Dufferin St., where dozens of supporters, including his son, city councillor Josh Colle, stood cheering.

Colle easily won the riding on a night his Liberal party rolled to a majority government. He got 22,855 votes, beating the PC’s Robin Martin, who had 14,069 votes, and the NDP’s Thomas Gallezot, who received 3,044.

“When Tim Hudak said he wanted us to be re-living the Mike Harris years, I knew that we were going to win,” he told the crowd. “When he said he was going to create a million jobs by firing 100,000 people, I knew we were going to win.”

The 69-year-old Colle, who has owned the riding since 1995, told the Town Crier his victory was the result of two factors: relentless campaigning, with supporters knocking on 1,000 doors a day, and a desire on the part of his constituents to not return to the years of “Mike Harris hell,” which he said were defined by lost hospitals, lost subway tracks, and schools that were in “chaos.”

Meanwhile, Martin’s supporters gathered at a former retail outlet at 1640 Avenue Rd., where a glittering disco ball, blue and white helium balloons and “Start Me Up” blasting over the loudspeaker belied the evening’s disappointment.

Though disappointed, Martin  told the Town Crier she could see a silver lining behind the gloom of the election result.

“The Liberals will have to wear their own legacy,” she said. “If we had won we would have been bearing the burden of the legacy that Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne have created, and I think it’s better that they have to deal with the issues that they created.”