Some encouraging local results

June 25, 2014   ·   0 Comments

THE ELECTIONS ONTARIO website now has the unofficial (but likely accurate) poll-by-poll results from the June 12 provincial election that saw Kathleen Wynne emerge with an unexpected majority government and Sylvia Jones coast to victory in Dufferin-Caledon.

Examination of a printout of the 221 Dufferin-Caledon polls will produce some interesting differences between the voters in different parts of the riding.

Perhaps the most striking difference was the relative success of Green Party candidate Karren Wallace in Dufferin, where it appears that she finished first in no fewer than 15 polls.

But while Ms. Wallace finished ahead of NDP candidate Rehya Yazbek, with 7,518 votes to her 5,268, most of the support for Green came from the north end of the riding.

Although one might think that a lot of residents in spots like Bolton and Palgrave would have a heightened environmental awareness and thus be inclined to vote Green, Ms. Wallace got relatively few votes in the Town of Caledon. In fact, in one of the Brampton Fairgrounds polls, she did almost as poorly as Libertarian Daniel Kowalewski, garnering just five votes to his three while 26 cast ballots for Ms. Yazbek and Liberal Bobbie Daid took the poll with 75 votes to Ms. Jones’ 43.

Although our suspicion is that the relatively strong Green turnout in the north could be attributed to the continuing threats to the landscape and roads posed by the aggregates industry, the current controversy over the proposed expansion of the already large pit near Melville didn’t seem to translate into a lot of Green votes. Although Ms. Wallace did better there than in Bolton, the four polls at Alton Legion went solidly blue, with Ms. Jones collecting 302 votes to Liberal Bobby Daid’s 191, and 174 and 115 to the Green and NDP candidates, respectively.

Although Ms. Jones captured most of the polls in both Dufferin and Caledon, the margins of victory weren’t as large as they were for David Tilson in the last federal election, and the local demographics may be working against the Conser-vatives, both through the continuing influx of ex-Torontonians and the dying off of older voters whose commitment to the party of Sir John A. is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.

One way of looking at the D-C result is that despite Ms. Jones’ hard work and considerable profile, roughly three out of five votes went to her opponents.

As we see it, that should be a signal to the governing Liberals that this is a riding that one day could fit into the “swing” category, and as such deserves a lot more attention than the area has been given historically.

That being the case, it will be interesting to see whether the next four years brings at least the promise, if not the reality, of the long-needed widening of Highway 10 between Camilla and Primrose, and construction of the even more-needed Shelburne bypass.

And while the election campaign did bring about a commitment to provide an express GO bus service between Bolton and the new Spadina subway terminal in Vaughan, and the Liberal platform included a vague promise to extent GO train service “to Dufferin,” it remains to be seen whether such promises will be kept.

One thing that shouldn’t disturb residents of the riding is the suggestion that the Wynne government’s attempts to reduce the current $12.5-billion budgeted deficit and to eventually produce a balanced budget will have to involve selling off Crown assets.

That should hardly be a problem locally, in view of the fact that, at least to our knowledge, the government has no assets in Dufferin-Caledon.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.