Wynne cleans up in Don Valley West

Veteran Liberal wins easily

For the Liberals, tonight’s election was a Wynne-win situation.

Don Valley West voters decisively returned incumbent and minister of transportation Kathleen Wynne for a third term as MPP. She crushed Progressive Conservative challenger Andrea Mandel-Campbell with a resounding 58.3 percent of the vote, while Mandel-Campbell pulled in 30.6 percent.

“I’m feeling gratified and humbled,” said Wynne. “It’s quite something to have such a huge and wonderful team support you and believe in you and believe that you can carry their voice to a government.”

The air was at first tense, but quickly filled with loud cheers, whistles and clapping, in the Liberal campaign party room at Cypriot Community Centre on Thorncliffe Park Drive as polls rolled in.

Jubilant supporters expressed relief at Wynne’s return to office.

“We don’t want change,” said volunteer Muhammad Wani.

Liberal voter Patrick Carew, a retired banker, said that it will be better for the province to give the party one more term, even though they didn’t get the majority he was hoping for.

“I can understand voters, at some point they’re looking for a change, but I don’t think right now is really a very good time,” he said.

In 2007’s election, Wynne distinguished herself by beating John Tory, then-leader of the PC party, by 10 percent.

Still, Mandel-Campbell had hoped to oust her from the seat she’s held since 2003.

Wynne said she always feels a degree of nervousness when campaigning, and was also worried that the blue tide that swept through the most recent federal and municipal elections could creep into her riding.

But after seeing the results, Wynne said she felt affirmed in the work the Liberals have done in Don Valley West and across the province.

“ I think that the province has said, ‘You know what, we’re going to hold you back a little bit, but basically we want you to continue on the same track that we’ve been on,’” she said.

Volunteer Nadia Gibbons said Wynne knows the riding so well, her success didn’t come as a surprise.

“I don’t think it ever was that close,” she said. “I think it was a pretty safe riding because she’s done so much for our constituents and they can see that because she’s a very reliable, honest politician.”

The Liberal MPP said she and her wife Jane Rounthwaite plan to spend the Thanksgiving weekend making up for lost time with family — meeting her granddaughter Claire for the second time since she was born on Oct. 3.

Other candidates took away a smaller share of tonight’s vote, with Khalid Ahmed of the NDP receiving 8.6 percent and Louis Fliss of the Green Party receiving 1.7 percent.

Soumen Deb of the Freedom Party of Ontario, Dimitrios Kabitsis of the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) and Rosemary Waigh of the Vegan Environmental Party also ran, but combined only received 0.8 percent of votes.

About this article:

By: Caitlin Orr
Posted: Oct 7 2011 3:20 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto