[attach]4923[/attach]Don Valley East elected to continue flying the Liberal flag, but Toronto District School Board trustee Michael Coteau is now hoisting it.
His predecessor David Caplan, who was first elected MPP in 1997 and had represented the riding since 1999, was on hand to celebrate the victory at Georgy Porgy’s Bar and Grill on Lawrence Avenue East near Victoria Park Avenue.
“I just want to say thank you to every single person that helped us on the campaign and thank you to the residents of Don Valley East,” Coteau said to the crowd of supporters gathered in the bar after the results were officially announced.
Coteau defeated Progressive Conservative candidate Michael Lende, the vice president of Zipcar Toronto, and New Democrat Bob Hilliard, a pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children, to win the seat.
“We’ve got to keep moving forward, rebuilding our schools,” he said. “We have a commitment to health care, education, we’ve got to take care of our seniors and our families. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We can’t stop. This is just the beginning.”
He said after months of talking to people in the community he knows education, unemployment and health care are some of the biggest issues that need to be tackled.
“I feel honoured to be given this privilege to serve the residents of Don Valley East,” he told the Town Crier. “I’m going to listen, understand how the provincial government operates and start to be effective in making some changes.”
[attach]4924[/attach]His long-term goals include working on adult literacy and continuing to modernize education in the province by introducing more of a digital curriculum.
As for his campaign, he said he couldn’t have asked for a better or harder working team.
“You can never be too over confident, but I had the greatest team anyone could ever ask for,” he said. “They did everything that we needed to do to run a great campaign.”
Raffi Sarkissian and Daron Keskinian from the Armenian Community Centre said they campaigned for Coteau because their community stood behind him.
“We supported Michael due to his long-time dedication to the community and to this riding,” Sarkissian said.
“We worked hard for his victory,” Keskinian added. “So we’re very happy that he won, he’s the right man for the job.”
Although Coteau said there was a lot of work to do, he wanted everyone to enjoy the rest of the night and said he planned on reaching out to everyone to give a personal thank you.
“I just want to thank the residents of Don Valley East for putting their faith in me and I’m going to, starting tomorrow, work hard to make sure I can deliver the results for them,” he said.