East Scarborough Joins Provincial Liberal Tide

Voters covered east Scarborough in a sea of red during last week’s provincial election, returning Liberals in all three local ridings.

Scarborough-Guidwood will send a rookie MPP to the legislature as Margarett Best defeated her closest rival, Progressive Conservative Gary Grant, by nearly 5,000 votes.

Best, who campaigned on equal access to health care and education, will take over the seat from Mary Anne Chambers, a cabinet minister in the McGuinty government who retired due to health concerns.

“I want to champion the causes of [the] diverse community of Scarborough-Guildwood,” Best said of her goals for the next four years. “I look forward to an Ontario where all Ontarians can attend school together, have equal access to universal health care, they can live in safer communities and can have a greener Ontario.”

Pickering-Scarborough East was a newly created riding, although an incumbent was running in Liberal MPP Wayne Arthurs, who previously held the Pickering-Ajax seat.

Arthurs easily returned to Queen’s Park over PC candidate Diana Hall, who also failed in a bid for Toronto city council last year.

“There was only one thing I heard at the door, and I’m sure you can guess it was faith-based funding,” Hall said.

Arthurs agreed with Hall’s assessment and said the voters showed they want diversity in our schools.

Bas Balkissoon retained his seat in Scarborough-Rouge River with the largest win of the three. Capturing nearly 65 per cent of the vote, Balkissoon easily outdistanced NDP candidate Sheila White and Horace Gooden of the PCs who each polled around 14 per cent.