Starting in June, Michael Prue began losing weight. No, he didn’t go on a diet. He was full out canvassing, pounding the pavement in Ward 32 asking for ideas. Prue said that it “was important to reflect on what issues were of concern to the community.” And on doorstep after doorstep he heard about the lack of access to health care and daycare, and the inadequacy of the TTC. In some neighbourhoods, the Ontario Municipal Board was a major issue.
“My campaigns are locally driven,” he said.
So after four hard-fought months on the campaign trail, Prue was delighted with the results. The percentage of the votes cast for Prue went up from 44 to 46.8%. He noted that the Liberals, represented by Helen Burstyn, also took a higher percentage of votes, but attributed that to the collapse of the Green Party in the riding.
Prue had 17,807 votes to Burstyn’s 13,816. The Conservative candidate Chris Menary garnered 5,364, while the Green Party’s Shawn Ali only had 1,025 votes.
While Prue doesn’t think much will happen in the legislature until after the winter break, he believes that with a minority Liberal government in place (although only lacking a single vote for a majority), there are real opportunities for input. For example, with a minority government, more Conservatives and NDPs will be appointed to committees.
“Government members have to listen to what goes on in the committees and…there is the possibility that good ideas can go forward.” There is also a real chance of compromise – and pitfalls.
Over the next few weeks, his role in the caucus will be decided, however, for the moment, Prue will be working with “newby” NDP caucus members. Because two NDP MPPs did not run in this election, of the 17 member NDP caucus, nine are totally new to the legislature.
Oh, and by the end of the election, Prue said he was down 19 pounds.
In Scarborough Southwest, Liberal Lorenzo Bernardinetti easily took the riding with a 4,000 vote plurality over NDP candidate Bruce Budd.