Liberal Celina Caesar-Chavannes was elected MP for Whitby in a tight race with incumbent Conservative Patricia Perkins.
When the results came in shortly after the polls closed at 9:30 pm Monday, Caesar-Chavannes had earned 27,827 votes (44.7 per cent), compared to Perkins with 26,306 votes. New Democratic candidate Ryan Kelly collected 6,453 votes and Green Party candidate Craig Cameron 1,345 votes.
Whitby is a new riding for 2015. Perkins had been the Conservative MP in Whitby-Oshawa.
About 200 enthusiasts gathered for the Liberal victory party at the Tap and Tankard pub in Whitby and, before delivering her speech, Caesar-Chavannes spent a moment with each individual in the room.
“Thank you very much for your continuous support of my campaign. It has been a journey during the past 15 months, but we have made it to the finish line,” she told the cheering crowd of family, friends, supporters and staff members.
She identified more job opportunities, higher salaries and new infrastructure projects in the region as her priorities.
She also talked about the high cost of education.
“I had to work my way through school like NDP leader Thomas Muclair and I plan to work alongside the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to help students struggling to pay their student debt,” she said.
“I will use my voice to be an advocate for your issues. Fair treatment is a matter that needs to be discussed,” she said.
Caesar-Chavannes hopes to use her entrepreneurial skills for the betterment of those around her.
“This not about me, it is about all of you and now it is my responsibility to be accountable to my words.”
Campaign manager Barb Vibert said she is looking forward to working with Caesar-Chavannes.
“Celina is going to be a really good representative for the community,” she said.