Mak­ing his­tory on a blue wave

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY STEVEN WARBURTON News Staff

Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell’s new MPP, Amanda Si­mard, made his­tory last Thurs­day evening dur­ing the pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

The 29-year-old lawyer and Rus­sell Town­ship coun­cil­lor be­came the first woman to rep­re­sent the area at Queen’s Park. She also is Glen­garry’s first Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive MPP since 1999.

The Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell polls closed at 10:30 p.m., 90 min­utes later than most of the other polls in the prov­ince, so Ms. Si­mard was jus­ti­fi­ably late drop­ping into her cam­paign of­fice in Em­brun, where about three dozen sup­port­ers were watch­ing re­sults on a large tele­vi­sion set.

When asked what her first pri­or­ity would be, Ms. Si­mard im­me­di­ately an­swered: “Mak­ing life more af­ford­able.”

Dur­ing a brief post-elec­tion scrum with re­porters, she talked about go­ing door-to-door through­out the rid­ing and hear­ing vot­ers’ con­cerns about hy­dro rates, taxes, and health care.

She also re­sponded to crit­i­cism launched at her by op­po­nents who said she wasn’t mak­ing much of an ef­fort to at­tend any de­bates or meet-and-greets. She was a no-show at a CBC in­ter­view at Alexan­dria’s Quirky Car­rot ear­lier this month; she also didn’t take part in a May 18 Rogers TV de­bate. Her ab­sences be­came so no­tice­able that one op­po­nent put her picture on the back of a milk car­ton.

But Ms. Si­mard al­ways con­tended that her time was bet­ter spent go­ing door-to-door, talk­ing to vot­ers in their own homes. While she says she got a lot of sup­port, she wasn’t over-con­fi­dent about her chances come elec­tion night.

“We felt the sup­port but you never know who’s go­ing to show up,” she said.

She didn’t have to worry. Vot­ers in Glen­garry-Prescott-Rus­sell chose her by a com­fort­able mar­gin.

Ms. Si­mard gar­nered 40.96 per cent of the vote, cap­tur­ing a grand to­tal of 19,958.

The run­ner-up was Lib­eral can­di­date, and Rus­sell Town­ship Mayor, Pierre Ler­oux, who re­ceived 15,435 votes. Bonnie JeanLouis of the NDP re­ceived 10,612 votes with Daniel Reid of the Green Party, Joël Char­bon­neau of the On­tario Party and Darcy Neal Donnelly of the Lib­er­tar­i­ans re­ceiv­ing re­spec­tive to­tals of 1,429, 757, and 538.

Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary poll-by-poll re­sults, Ms. Si­mard cap­tured all but 13 of the 101 polls in her rid­ing, in­clud­ing nearly 100 per cent of the polls in North Glen­garry.

As a PC MPP, Noble Vil­leneuve rep­re­sented the rid­ing of Stor­mont-Dun­das-Glen­garry from 1983-1995, when it was re­drawn as Stor­mont-Dun­das-Glen­garry and East Grenville. He served as MPP of that rid­ing un­til 1999, when Lib­eral John Cleary de­feated him.

The re­gion has never been rep­re­sented by a woman at the fed­eral level.

STEVEN WARBURTON PHOTO

DOU­BLE BLUE Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date Amanda Si­mard cel­e­brates her vic­tory Thurs­day night. The 29-year-old lawyer cap­tured 4,500 more votes than the run­ner-up, Lib­eral can­di­date Pierre Ler­oux. In Stor­mont- Dun­das- South Glen­garry, Con­ser­va­tive...

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