An energetic crowd filled the North Room at The Assembly Hall to hear from nominees Pak-Cheong Choo and Saira Batasar, as well as Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. Horwath, who regularly leads approval ratings over Conservative Tim Hudak and Liberal Kathleen Wynne, spoke on the results the NDP has achieved under her leadership as contrasted with what she called a “cynical” Liberal party and an ineffective and derisive Conservative leadership. She made clear that her party is not an afterthought After her speech, the candidates briefly introduced themselves and answered questions before balloting began.
With all the ballots in, Pak-Cheong (who goes by P.C.) was selected to campaign for the seat, which opened up just a few weeks ago with the resignation of Liberal MPP Laurel Broten. Broten earned notoriety for her role, as Minister of Education, in passing Bill 115 and cracking down on union organizing rights under Premier Dalton McGuinty, also a Liberal.
P.C. brings with him a distinguished career and prestigious resume. He has a Bachelor of Science in Economics, as well as a Masters in Political Science. He was awarded the David Lewis Memorial Award in politics in 1993, and has notched a previous electoral victory in Etobicoke-North. His acceptance speech highlighted the need to work to build an economy that works for all Canadians, and to restrain wasteful spending as exemplified by the Liberal gas plant scandal.
The by-election, called earlier this week by Premier Wynne, is scheduled to take place on August 1st. Advance polling begins July 20th and continues until July 26th. The by-election is one of five others taking place across the province. Early polling indicates that the Liberals may shed seats in Provincial Parliament.