Election 2008: Karygiannis delivers Scarborough-Agincourt

For the seventh time in 20 years, a Liberal will return to Ottawa as the representative for Scarborough-Agincourt.

Jim Karygiannis won another convincing majority in the multicultural riding, held by the Liberals since 1988, with 56 per cent of the vote.

Conservative candidate Dr. Benson Lau came second with 29 per cent, followed by Simon Dougherty of the NDP with nine per cent. Adrian Molder of the Greens finished last with less than five per cent of the vote. For Karygiannis and his supporters, the outcome was never in doubt.

“I was responsible for delivering my riding,” Karygiannis said. “We delivered in spades.”

Karygiannis accused his opponent of pandering to the large Chinese population in the area. Chinese residents comprise nearly half the population of Scarborough-Agincourt, one of Canada’s most ethnically diverse ridings, according to the latest census.

“Dr. Lau told the Chinese media that ‘blood is thicker than water,'” Karygiannis said. “(The Liberals) bleed red, we don’t discriminate.”

“If he said that, he is insulting my campaign workers (who are not Chinese),” Lau said. “People have been taken for granted and are looking for change.”

Steve Swiggers, a Conservative volunteer, admitted that Lau’s candidacy attracted many first-time Chinese voters.

“The Chinese community has a reputation for not voting,” Swiggers, 55, said. “I can’t explain why that is. You have to ask a member of the community…Benson brought those people out.”