David Zimmer is looking for that three-peat, and he’s confident it’s within his grasp.
The incumbent MPP’s confidence in winning the upcoming provincial election goes back to prior battles for the riding.
“In 2003, the conventional wisdom was the Tories would lose every seat in Toronto except for Willowdale,” the Liberal MPP said. “I won that election by 2,000 votes.”
In 2007, the local PC party thought they could snatch the riding from the Liberals’ grasp with a high profile candidate in councillor David Shiner. However, Zimmer won that election by 6,000 votes. Zimmer takes that as a positive sign for this election.
“I’m trending up,” he said. “You know those math tests where you go ‘number two, number six, what number should follow?’”
Though Zimmer doesn’t mean to downplay his Conservative opponent, Vince Agovino, he says he’s just not as high profile as those he’s beaten in the past.
“Vince Agovino is a nice young man, but he’s not the same kind of high profile Tory candidate they ran in ’03 and ’07,” Zimmer said. “I’ll say that I’m working just as hard on this campaign as I did when I ran against David Shiner and (former MPP) David Young.”
Citing seniors’ health as one of the biggest issues being discussed in his Willowdale riding, Zimmer highlighted the fact that the North York riding has one of the biggest population of seniors in the country.
“Seniors and soon-to-be-retired seniors are very concerned about the continuing quality of health care and are starting to make demands on the system more than they have in the past,” he said only a couple hours before announcing an increase in funding for operating costs of a St. John’s Rehab Hospital branch.
“Interestingly enough, it’s also a big issue with 40-year-olds and 50-year-olds because they’re concerned for their parents who are getting into their retirement years,” he added. “They’re worried about the stability of our long-term care homes and healthcare.”
Healthcare, along with education are the shining examples of the work the McGuinty government has done over the past eight years, Zimmer says.
“I challenge you to take a look at any identifiable measure,” he said, citing the work his government has done in reducing hospital wait times, and implementing full-day kindergarten.
“You name any measure you want, and progress has been so significant (under the Liberal government) that people are asking themselves if they really want to risk going back (to the Mike Harris and Ernie Eves government).”
And those improvements will be number 1 priority for Zimmer if re-elected.
“My first order of business when we are re-elected and when we’re re-elected here in Willowdale is … to ensure that we build upon what we’ve done with health care,” he said.
“And the same goes for education.”
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