THUNDER BAY – Candidate’s Ledger – The election has come and gone, and with it an end result that I neither expected nor hoped for. However, as a student of Political Science, I can look at these past five months as the greatest hands on schooling anyone could ask for.
I entered the race knowing full well that those who have carried the banner of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in Thunder Bay before me have been less than successful. As I said many times throughout the race, I have never done anything in my life with an expectation of losing. Having that said, you have to prepare yourself for all possible outcomes. I was certainly prepared that I may not end the evening of October 6th as the next MPP for Thunder Bay Superior North. I will admit however, I expected to do better than the final results indicated. But that is the beauty of our democratic system, the end result is one made by the people, and you can only respect that decision.
I am proud of a couple of points that came from the election results. Firstly, that we nearly doubled the PC Party’s votes in the riding from the previous two elections. While quadrupling was required, the groundwork has been set for future elections where the concept of once again doubling the vote count may very well be enough to be victorious.
I am also proud that I was then only candidate running in the riding who at the end of the day increased the percentage of the vote over the previous election, in my case by over 8%
But most importantly, I am proud to have shared the ballot with the fine gentlemen that I did. Scott Kyle and Steve Mantis may have differing views than I do in regards to the best ways to improve our region. However, the key is they both feel as strongly as I do about the future of Northwestern Ontario and want to improve our way of life. And the fact that they are both genuinely good men made the experience of running against them a most pleasant one.
As for Michael Gravelle, I can sum him up in one simple phrase, a class act. I dropped by to concede and congratulate him personally on election night. His response and reaction was beyond cordial. I am happy that throughout this process our relationship has turned into, as Michael himself said, one of a working friendship. I have said many times during the campaign that while I may not be a fan of Premier McGuinty and his policies, I have nothing but good things to say about Michael. That continues to this day, and in fact was strengthened on election night.
I look forward to getting back to work and helping the community grow. I have started the process of re-entering my Board of Governor role at Lakehead University after taking a leave of absence during the election. Thank you to Board and to the University for their understanding throughout this process. And of course, I will continue to be an advocate for the proposed Multiplex facility in Thunder Bay. My Ice Edge Holdings colleagues and I are excited about the prospect of the future for professional hockey in the region and are doing our part to ensure we can bring a top tier franchise to the city.
I would like to conclude by first thanking my campaign team. We entered this process in May, and it would not be far fetched to say we started from scratch. My team of volunteers worked countless hours knocking on doors, fundraising, putting up signs (then taking down signs), and working the phones. You all made this process a thoroughly enjoyable one.
I also would like to thank Tim Hudak. We may have not been successful in our joint aspirations, but I can say that Tim is a true friend of Northern Ontario and will continue to fight for us as leader of the official opposition.
Lastly, thank you to the voters of Thunder Bay Superior North. Throughout the campaign I had the opportunity to talk to thousands of you one to one, and hear what the real issues are. It has provided me with a much clearer understanding of what is important, and has left me with a strong desire to continue helping this region that I love so much and am proud to call home.
Candidate of Record, PC Party of Ontario
Thunder Bay – Superior North