Liberals win majority

Gerretsen takes Kingston and the Islands with 47.2 per cent

Incumbent Liberal MPP John Gerretsen enters the room last night after winning his seat in Kingston and the Islands for his fourth straight term.
Incumbent Liberal MPP John Gerretsen enters the room last night after winning his seat in Kingston and the Islands for his fourth straight term.
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PC candidate John Rapin (right) congratulates Kingston and the Islands Liberal MPP John Gerretsen on his win last night.
PC candidate John Rapin (right) congratulates Kingston and the Islands Liberal MPP John Gerretsen on his win last night.
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John Gerretsen’s 35-year public service career in Kingston will continue for at least another four.

Kingston and the Islands voters opted for the status quo when they elected Gerretsen for his fourth straight term as an MPP last night with 47.2 per cent of the vote.

Gerretsen’s supporters and campaign managers gathered at the West Ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel last night, where the atmosphere shifted from confidence to jubilation as results were projected onto a big screen.

Gerretsen said he’s looking forward to another term in office.

“I’ve never lost an election,” he said. “Sir John A. McDonald did it until he was well into his 80s. I enjoy what I’m doing, and simply wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t enjoy it.”

With the Liberal majority, Dalton McGuinty becomes the first Liberal premier to win back-to-back majority governments in 70 years.

Gerretsen said it’s difficult for a party to be re-elected.

“It’s tougher to defend a government than it is to attack,” he said. “Whenever you do something, there’s always something that someone doesn’t like.”

Gerretsen said it’s too bad the referendum, which asked voters if they wanted to switch to a mixed member proportional voting system, received only 36.7 per cent support.

“It’s too bad,” he said. “I was in favour of it, but the people have spoken and the people are never wrong.”

Gerretsen said the Liberal party has big plans for post-secondary education.

“They’re still rolling out the $6.2 billion program we rolled out a few years ago,” he said. “It’s the biggest investment ever made into post-secondary education in Ontario.”

Gerretsen said with three post-secondary institutions in Kingston, Queen’s especially serves as a boost to the Kingston economy.

“The bottom line is this: we have a university located downtown that has 20,000 students coming to it, and spend all of their money here, whether it be theirs, their parents’, or OSAP’s,” he said. “It strengthens this community.”

Gerretsen said the Liberal party has made excellent progress to allow students of all economic backgrounds to pursue post-secondary education.

“I think that funding for universities and colleges has gone up quite a bit,” he said. “Tuition issues are always an issue, but on the other hand we’ve made great advances over the last four years for students to get grants.”

Queen’s University Liberal Association president Colin Standish said the campaign has been time-consuming but satisfying.

“All of us put in a lot of time. We’ve been to places like Belleville and Toronto, and we went to different ridings almost every weekend, putting in several hours every day,” he said. “It’s really awesome to see it turn out so well for the Liberal party and for Mr. Gerretsen.”

Standish said the members of the association worked hard to promote the Liberal party’s platform in the Queen’s community.

“We all went canvassing,” he said. “We went through the Ghetto, going door-to-door, and went to North Kingston and out in the West End as well.”

Mayor Harvey Rosen said having an MPP on the governing side of the legislature will give Kingston a voice at the provincial level.

“It puts our member back in government, probably in the cabinet I would hope, and allows us to have a greater voice in terms of getting the government’s attention with respect to issues in parliament that we face in this community,” he said.

Gerretsen’s campaign manager John Clements wasn’t in attendance because of a trip to Hawaii.

Gerretsen set the tone for his next term by ending his victory speech on an enthusiastic note.

“Let’s party!”

Unofficial election results

Kingston and the Islands

Green Party: 4,321 votes

8.8 per cent

Liberal Party: 23,273 votes

47.2 per cent

New Democratic Party:

10,126 votes

20.6 per cent

Progressive Conservative Party:

10,994 votes

22.3 per cent

Total number of votes: 49,269

Voter turnout (per cent): 55.6 per cent

Ontario

Green Party: 0 seats

8.1 per cent

Liberal Party: 72 seats

42.2 per cent

New Democratic Party: 10 seats

17 per cent

Progressive Conservative Party: 25 seats

31.5 per cent

Total number of votes: 4,134,312

Voter turnout: 49.3 per cent

As of 2 a.m. Oct. 11

—Source: Elections Ontario

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