The votes are in and New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Jessica Bell has been elected the new MPP for University—Rosedale, representing UTSG-area residents at Queen’s Park in the coming session.
Vijay Thanigasalam, the Progressive Conservative (PC) candidate in Scarborough—Rouge Park, won the riding UTSC is located in, and Sheref Sabawy, PC candidate in Mississauga—Erin Mills, will represent UTM’s area.
Bell took a victory over Liberal candidate Jo-Ann Davis, PC candidate Gillian Smith, and Green candidate Tim Grant.
Bell won with 49.66 per cent of the vote, followed by Davis with 22.06 per cent, Smith at 21.11 per cent, and Grant at 5.37 per cent.
Sabawy won with 41.70 per cent of the vote, followed by NDP candidate Farina Hassan at 27.59 per cent, Liberal candidate Imran Mian at 25.30 per cent, and Green candidate Libby Yuill at 2.74 per cent.
Thanigasalam won with 38.61 per cent, followed by NDP candidate Felicia Samuel at 36.32 per cent, Liberal candidate Sumi Shan at 20.91 per cent, and Green candidate Priyan de Silva at 2.41 per cent.
Doug Ford will be the next Premier of Ontario, leading a majority PC government. He replaces Kathleen Wynne of the Ontario Liberal Party, who held on to her seat in Don Valley West by a slim margin. Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario NDP, will serve as the head of the Official Opposition.
NDP’s Jessica Bell in University—Rosedale
In an earlier interview with The Varsity, Bell, the founding executive director for the transit advocacy group TTCriders, spoke on transit, mental health, and her party’s plan to convert provincial loans into grants.
The NDP’s plan had been “to properly invest in the TTC and all local transit systems across Ontario, so the TTC can improve service in all routes across the city and [have] the option to reduce fares.”
On mental health, Bell’s party would have looked at making a Ministry of Health and Addictions, as well as funding 2,600 more mental health workers and creating 30,000 new supportive housing units. Ford’s PC government has pledged to spend $1.9 billion over ten years on mental health and addiction.
PC’s Sheref Sabawy in Mississauga—Erin Mills
Mississauga—Erin Mills voted for PC candidate Sabawy, a networks professor at both George Brown College and Centennial College. He is a self-described human rights activist and community leader, and holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from Alexandria University.
In 2015, Sabawy sought the federal nomination for the riding under the Liberal Party banner, but lost the race. He later ran for and won the PC provincial nomination under former leader Patrick Brown.
PC’s Vijay Thanigasalam in Scarborough—Rouge Park
Scarborough—Rouge Park’s new MPP is first-time candidate Thanigasalam, who narrowly defeated the NDP candidate in the riding. Thanigasalam, 29, holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, and previously worked as a financial advisor.
Thanigasalam’s campaign website states that he advocates for “youth development and employment opportunities, and wants to build an Ontario where young people can pay less and get ahead.”