Another Parker squeaker

When the polls closed at 8 p.m., a tight three-way race ensued, so John Parker waited to be sure he was victorious before appearing at his election party.

“It was a nail-biter,” the Ward 26 incumbent said, “and I didn’t want to come until I knew it was certain.”

Hundreds of supporters were on hand at the All Canadian Self-Storage facility on Laird Drive to welcome Parker to his second term as councillor for Don Valley West.

After receiving his champagne, he was quick to congratulate Rob Ford on winning the Toronto mayoral election.

“Rob has his eye very firmly focused on the bull’s-eye, and I share the same focus on that bull’s-eye and I look forward to supporting him, particularly on getting the city’s finances back on track,” he said.

Irene Vrckovnik, co-ordinator of volunteers for Parker’s campaign, embraced her candidate and congratulated him on a hard-fought victory. She said finding volunteers wasn’t a challenge at all because of the increased support for Parker in this municipal election.

“He’s held in high regard in the community and mentioning John Parker (and asking for help), people lined up and said yes,” she said.

Ishrath Velshi, Parker’s administrative assistant, believes he won because he served his constituents well.

“There’s about five communities within the ward, and I think what Parker benefited from was addressing each community separately throughout the campaign,” she said.

With 6,203 votes, Parker beat out closest opponent Jon Burnside by 415 votes. Third-place finisher Mohamed Dhanani had 5,627 votes.

“I’m relieved that the tension is over. All the hard work has paid off,” Parker said.

Coming into this election, critics thought Parker would lose votes in communities that had more diverse demographics.

“My support in each corner of Ward 26 has grown since the last election and that’s something I take comfort in,” Parker said. “I got support in all areas of the ward because people recognize I’ve been serving all areas in the ward.”