By MARY-MARGARET McMAHON
MPP, BEACHES-EAST YORK
Change brings opportunity.
As election night drew to a close on June 2, I was met with two emotions.
First, an overwhelming sense of gratitude and elation for the vote of confidence you have placed in me by electing me as the next MPP for Beaches-East York.
Then disappointment set in, as it became apparent that the Liberal Party of Ontario wouldn’t achieve official party status (12 seats are required currently), even though we won nearly a quarter of the popular vote province wide – the same percentage that gave the Ontario NDP 31 seats and official opposition status.
As the results from Beaches-East York came in and cheers rose around me from my volunteers, team members, family, and friends, the progressive platform that I helped shape, believed in, and championed at the door for the last 18 months slipped away. In that moment, I thought, what in the world have I gotten myself into? The answer came to me as quickly as the question. The reason I put my name on the ballot was to help make our community, province, country, and world, a better place.
It was the same sense of purpose that drew me to the political arena over a decade ago, after years of community involvement and leadership; the same values that were instilled in me while growing up in a politically active family in Collingwood during my formative years.
My personal credo has always been that life doesn’t get better by chance. It only gets better by change.
As your Toronto City Councillor from 2010 to 2018, I worked relentlessly to improve our neighbourhoods and city. As your newly elected MPP, I promise you that I will bring that same tireless work ethic and commitment to serve our community to Queen’s Park, on your behalf.
As your MPP, I’ll do everything within my power to battle our climate emergency and create green jobs, find solutions to improve our economy, make life more affordable, revolutionize elder care, invest in better education and schools, and support small businesses. I will fight for better wages and worker benefits, advocate for more mental health support and help to resolve systemic issues in healthcare. I will make housing affordability and availability a priority. I will do this for my children and yours. For our collective future and the bright future of Beaches-East York.
Facing a majority Conservative government in Queen’s Park isn’t going to be easy but I’ll never shy away from a challenge. I never have and I never will. I will engage with our local groups, stakeholders, and residents. I will listen to, learn from, and work with everyone – and anyone – who’s willing to work toward creating and implementing solutions that move both our community and province forward.
My energetic, hopeful, and positive attitude will translate into tenacious collaboration and dynamic action. Although our caucus will be smaller than we had hoped, I am looking forward to working with a motivated group of united Liberal MPPs with strong values to hold Doug Ford’s government to account.
To conclude, I want to thank everyone who not only voted for me but also those who voted for the other candidates who ran in this provincial election. To all friends, new and old, strangers, colleagues, and acquaintances, I am grateful and humbled.
In these increasingly divisive and challenging times, when many are skeptical of both politics and politicians, voting makes democracy stronger. My message to all Beaches-East York constituents is that I am absolutely determined to make a difference in the Ontario Legislature, and I will proudly address the issues that matter to you day in and day out.