Provincial Election 2022: Doly Begum of the NDP wins second term in Scarborough Southwest

NDP candidate Doly Begum celebrates her provincial election night win in Scarborough Southwest. Inset photo: Liberal candidate Lisa Patel watches with supporters as the results come in on Thursday night. Photos by Ahmed Dirie and Jesse Gault.

By AHMED DIRIE and JESSE GAULT

Despite initial polls indicating a tight race, NDP incumbent Dolly Begum won her second straight term as MPP for the riding of Scarborough Southwest.

Begum took the riding in the June 2 provincial election with 47.09 per cent of the vote.

“It feels incredible,” said Begum. “We have worked so hard. It’s been an amazing, amazing four years as the MPP for this amazing riding with great people who have shown their love and support. During the campaign we saw that love with the amount of people that came forward of all ages, all colours and all walks of life.”

Also running in the riding were Brett Snider of the Progressive Conservative Party with 27.85 per cent of the vote, Lisa Patel of the Liberal Party with 18.76 per cent, Cara Brideau of the Green Party with 3.61 per cent, Peter Naus of the New Blue Party with 1.10 per cent, Barbara Everatt of the Ontario Party with 0.94 per cent, Michelle Parsons of the Independent Party with 0.32 per cent  and finally James McNair of the None of the Above Party also with 0.32 per cent of the vote.

Begum said she will continue to be a presence in the Scarborough Southwest riding.

“My first and foremost priority and the promise that I’ve always made to the community is that I will make sure that I represent the community, that I’m accessible and that I represent the community to the best of my abilities. That means standing up in Queens Park on behalf of the people of Scarborough Southwest so they have a voice. And to me, that’s very important.”

Begum is already thinking of the issues that came up during the campaign that are important to her constituents, such as climate change, and how she plans to tackle them now the election is over.

“When it comes to issues of climate change, we know how serious and immediate it is,” said Begum. “We’ve got an amazing plan. The Ontario NDP has the Green New Democratic Deal. Being in opposition, it’s going to be tougher, but we’re still going to fight for the platform and the policies that we have put together.”

Affordable housing is another important topic.

“Housing is a huge issue in our community,” said Begum. “A lot of people are struggling a lot with affordability, especially with rent, with mortgages, with the cost of food, just groceries, all of that. That’s going to be really tough and there is a lot of work that we have to do to make sure that people are happy, people have an affordable life and that people have the ability to stay in the communities that they grew up in.”

It was a tumultuous night for party leaders with not only Steven Del Duca of the Liberals resigning after losing his riding but the news broke later that NDP leader Andrea Horwath would be stepping down as well.

“Andrea has been an amazing leader,” said Begum. “She’s worked very hard. She’s one of the most experienced leaders, actually the most experienced leader we had, and has worked so hard for her community for the entire province. She understands the people of this province and I thank her for the work that she’s done.”

Despite the news about Horwath, Begum is optimistic about the future of the NDP.

“I think that  the hard work of many of my colleagues has paid off,” said Begum. “Obviously, there are wins and losses. But over the past four years, you have seen one of the strongest opposition ever in this province. And the Ontario NDP has a proven track record of making sure that we hold the government accountable and that we are accountable to the people of this province.”

Liberal candidate Lisa Patel’s expressed frustration with the results of Thursday’s provincial election, both across Ontario and in the riding of Scarborough Southwest.

“It needs a whole level of a different type of leadership,” said Patel of the riding. “The truth is, I’ve watched this riding grow since the 1980s. I grew up here. Ultimately, a lot of the things I was saying, we need more, to make sure everything goes back to the commitment of the people, humanity, bringing out services in a different way, communications plans that really engage people and get people involved.”

Patel said the campaign was a tough and short one, but she was proud of the way she and her team ran it.

“It was a journey, especially after the pandemic. The fact that we’ve seen challenges in getting volunteers to come back to campaigns and getting people to canvas and stuff. So there were those limitations. But overall, I’m very proud of the campaign that we ran. We ran a clean campaign that was making sure it was about the people. We had an incredible platform to go in. So overall, I’m enthused and very proud of the team and every one that came forward and stepped up and got involved.”

Patel said more time to run her campaign and a sooner nomination date for her as Liberal candidate in the riding would have been helpful.

“We know that ultimately there are so many different factors to take into consideration. And maybe if we had more time, the nomination was done in late February. If we had more time to get through the riding.”

“We’re watching history kind of repeat itself in some ways,” she said of Thursday’s results which saw a second majority government for the Progressive Conservatives and the return of the incumbent in the riding . “But ultimately I just hope that the new leader and the parties are able to really put the policies that are going to help Scarborough Southwest and its residents.”


Was this article informative? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!