By Neil Armstrong
Pride Contributing Writer
TORONTO, Ontario – Mitzie Hunter is the new Member of Provincial Parliament for the Scarborough-Guildwood riding after the Aug. 1 by-election in which she beat out former Toronto city councillor, Adam Giambrone, of the NDP and Ken Kirupa of the Progressive Conservatives.
The Liberal Party member will represent the riding once served by Margarett Best, who did so since 2007, but tendered her resignation on June 27, 2013.
There were five by-elections held across the province in which the Liberals won two seats. The other victory for the party was in former premier, Dalton McGuinty’s Ottawa South. John Fraser defeated the PC’s Matt Young and Bronwyn Funiciello of the NDP.
The Progressive Conservatives gained their first seat in Toronto since the 1999 election. Toronto’s deputy mayor, Doug Holyday won Etobicoke-Lakeshore for the PC party beating fellow Toronto city councillor, Peter Milczyn of the Liberal Party and P.C. (Pak-Cheong) Choo of the NDP.
The NDP gained two seats in London West and Windsor Tecumseh. Percy Hatfield won convincingly with 64 per cent of the vote over Robert de Verteuil of the PC party and Liberal’s Jeewen Gill in Windsor Tecumseh.
Running for the NDP, former school board chair Peggy Sattler defeated lawyer Ali Chahbar of the PC party, and Ken Coran, the former president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation who ran as the Liberal candidate.
Reacting to the loss of three Liberal seats, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Ontarians expect better from the government and that people are angry about the gas plant issue and that a lot of money was spent at a time of tight budgets.
“Voters sent the Liberals a strong message today: We deserve a government that will get our fiscal house in order to create jobs. Ontario is on the wrong track now, but we can turn the corner. Voters clearly said they want a change in direction for a better Ontario,” said Ontario PC Leader, Tim Hudak.
Meanwhile Ontario New Democrats Leader, Andrea Horwath, said Ontarians voted to send a message that, “They’ve had enough of an arrogant government that takes them for granted.”
In the meantime, Hunter intends to be a strong voice for her community at Queen’s Park.
The former CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance has worked on many issues like transportation and jobs for young people – issues which she said are also consistent with the Liberal government.
During her campaign, Hunter said she knew Scarborough-Guildwood very well and worked on the ground there while at Goodwill Industries of Toronto.
“I have dedicated my entire working life to unlocking the potential of our people and our community. I want to help create fair access to community housing and public transit, as well as good jobs and new opportunities for our youth and families right here in Scarborough. I will draw on my experience and work with the residents of Scarborough-Guildwood to give them a strong voice at Queen’s Park,” said Hunter.
Hunter and her family immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1975. She recently completed her MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
She has executive experience as a vice president at Goodwill Industries of Toronto and as the chief administrative officer at Toronto Community Housing.