Scarborough Rouge-River remains red territory

For the third provincial election in a row, Scarborough Rouge-River is red territory.

Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon won the riding with a total of 12,032 votes, good for 41.22 per cent of the ballots cast.

A close second, Neethan Shan of the NDP accumulated a total of 10,678 votes, or 36.58 per cent.  Coming third was first-time politician Ken Kim from the PC, a distant third with 5473 votes, or 18.75 per cent of those who came out to vote.

“It was a very short campaign [for us] and we had an amazing amount of people, an amazing amount of energy, and made headway in many polls if you look at the numbers,” Shan said at his post election party.

“We’re very excited about the progress but unfortunately we couldn’t do it this time.”

Incumbent Balkissoon continued his dominance of the region, having won the general election in 2007 and the by-election in 2005.  In the previous election in 2007, he defeated his next closest opponent by over 17,000 votes.

Though Shan came very close to knocking off the incumbent, his campaign meant more to him than the numbers.

“I feel campaigns are not just about winning, but increasing participation and raising issues in the community, and I’m glad we did that,” Shan explained.

“We got a large number of young people involved and ready to be active in politics.”

What might have hindered Shan was he jumped into the election as a late candidate, meaning he had a slow start to his campaign.  A slow start that he couldn’t recover from.

“This was not in my radar initially to run provincially, but now that we have this momentum we will hopefully increase NDP support in Scarborough.”

Shan does intend on starting his campaign earlier next time, but for now, his future is busy with family.

“I have a two-month-old son, and I want to spend some time with him, so I’d really like to get back to some family time,” Shan said.

“But I can’t stay away from politics and community activism.  I’ll be back.”