Tories place surprising third in key Scarborough riding

Perhaps for the first time in provincial election history, the Tories have placed third after the Liberal and NDP parties in a few key ridings in Scarborough.

An example is Scarborough-Southwest where Mike Chopowick has represented the Tories. He lost to incumbent Lorenzo Berardinetti, with Bruce Budd of the NDP surprisingly placing second. Chapowick’s disappointment was apparent on election night as the small group from his campaign office around him watched the results at a nearby bar.

“Like I said, I’m proud of the campaign we ran,” he said. “Next step is obviously the PC party’s gaining seats as we watch the elections, and we’re going to continue to offer another choice for Ontario.”

His main competition and eventual winner was Berardinetti, whose wife Michelle represents the riding in city hall as its councillor.

Chopowick works at the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, an organization representing rental property owners.

He has also served as Tim Hudak’s communications advisor in the Ministry of Northern Development, which oversees mining and forestry.

He began his campaign early, with a lot of good volunteers.

“We started knocking on people’s doors and canvassing back in June,” he said. “We got to meet a lot of voters, got to hear what their concerns were in the riding.”

Scarborough Southwest runs east of Bellamy Road South, west of Victoria Park Avenue and south till Lake Ontario. Its boundaries were defined in 1999, when it elected a Tory MPP, Dan Newman.

After Newman, it has consistently elected Berardinetti into power in provincial elections. He was first elected MPP in 2003 and again in 2007.

Chopowick ran on the promise of bringing great change into his riding, including firmly opposing wind turbines.

“I am opposed to any new wind turbines along the shoreline of Scarborough,” he explained. “Every wind turbine uses a thousand gallons of oil for its moving parts and kills hundreds of birds and bats annually. They’re actually having a negative environmental impact and questionable economic and energy benefit.”

The election may have ended in disappointment for Chopowick but he remains cheerful.

“I am very confident that we put out a choice for them to make sure Ontario gets back on the right track,” he said with a smile.