Café La Roche in Scarborough is known for its mellow shisha-smoking atmosphere but on Oct. 6 evening its atmosphere took a whole 360 as Liberal MPP Brad Duguid and his supporters celebrated his third straight provincial election in Scarborough Centre.
A sea of voters in red chanted “Brad! Brad! Brad! Brad!” and “Duguid! Duguid! Duguid! Duguid!” and held up red “Forward” signs.
“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart — to the great people of Scarborough Centre who had confidence in re-electing me as their MPP,” he said.
“We together have done something real special here. We together have made history here in Scarborough Centre.”
Duguid is no stranger to winning elections in Scarborough. He was first elected in 2003, winning by about 10,000 votes and was re-elected in 2007.
“We’ve come a very, very long way in eight years,” he said.
“We’ve turned around our health care system. We’ve gone from the worst wait times to the best. We’ve turned around our educational system. Education was vague to our kids back in 2003. Today we’re one of the top education systems in the world and we’re dedicated to implement full-day kindergarten and to help process healthy services.”
On Thursday night, exit polls showed voters were most concerned with Ontario’s economy and jobs. A solid plurality of 44 per cent showed they trusted Liberals to handle the economy rather than the NDP and PC parties.
“Dalton McGuinty, Brad Duguid and all of the Liberal Party are the only ones that have really set a course forward for the province in both economically for social programs and in creating jobs,” said Brendon Bedford, a member of the Scarborough Centre riding association.
Duguid implemented the landmark Green Energy Act as a critical component for the government’s Open Ontario Plan to create a new green economy for Ontario.
“Liberals are dedicated to building a clean, healthy, prosperous future not just for us today but for our kids and our grandkids of the future,” he said.
Duguid says Liberals across the Province are determined to keep on the right track and to “keep building.”
“We’re builders so we’re going to go back to Queens Park and keep building for the better,” he said.
Duguid took over 51 per cent of the vote in Scarbrough-Centre, winning more than challengers Progressive Conservative Carol Williams, NDP candidate Kathleen Mathurin, the Green Party’s Jeff Mole and the Freedom Party’s David Driver combined.
With the Thanksgiving long weekend around the corner, Duguid says spending time with his family is his first priority now.
“After two-and-a-half months of hard campaigning, I’ll have to get to know them again,” he said with a laugh. “I hope they recognize me at the Thanksgiving table.”