Balloons filled India’s Flavor restaurant as family and supporters of Progressive Conservative candidate Gary Ellis, Scarborough-Guildwood, mingled and shared laughter, but this was no victory party. Ellis lost to Liberal incumbent Margaret Best in last night’s Ontario election.
In his concession speech, Ellis told his his supporters not to be bitter or upset. “There’s no loss here,” he said.
Supporter Kevin Hopper said he had the opportunity to meet Ellis last July. “I was so impressed with the guy. He has integrity and we need more of that in politics,” he said.
Ellis, who had been considered a strong challenger, came a distant second in the riding with 9,137 votes to Best’s 15,606 votes. The NDP’s Lorri Urban was third with 6,193.
When asked how he felt about the outcome of the race, Ellis jokingly pretended to wipe a tear and smile. “I’m respectful of [the outcome],” he said.
“I respect everyone who ran … everybody put themselves out, and that’s the beautiful thing about Canada.”
Ellis said he has worked in other countries where voting is not an option.
“I’m so happy I live in Canada, I live in Ontario. The people [have] spoken, so I’m pumped that we had this opportunity to go through with this [election],” he said.
Ellis supporter David Turnbull said he voted for Ellis because of his integrity.
“Margaret been in a couple terms and she’s been sort of useless,” Turnbull said.
“Even the black communities migrated away from her. Having said that, there’s name recognition and party recognition and she’s probably won,” he said
Ellis said he wishes Margaret well on her term and the “great challenge ahead of her.”
“She has to take care of this riding. She has to do something more than give grants — she has to take care of creating jobs,” he said.
Ellis said he’ll go back to doing what he loves and teaching at the University of Guelph-Humber, in Toronto.