Liberal Milloy narrowly wins third term


He had to wait until 12:21 a.m. to do it, but Liberal John Milloy can celebrate the beginning of his third term as the member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Kitchener Centre.

In one of the tightest races in the province, Milloy edged Progressive Conservative Dave MacDonald by 323 votes, with the final result not being declared until after midnight. Milloy grabbed 15,392 votes compared to MacDonald’s 15,069.

“Every election sends a message and it’s a lesson. We’re going through some pretty turbulent economic times and I think people are concerned,” said Milloy of the tight race between he and MacDonald. “Every politician knows they’re not getting 100 per cent of the vote.”

Milloy’s victory in Kitchener Centre was one of 53 across Ontario, which put the Liberal Party just one seat shy of a majority government as of election night. In Milloy’s eyes, this is no small feat, as at the beginning of the campaign, the Liberals and leader Dalton McGuinty weren’t given much of a chance in this election.

“Let’s not forget, three or four months ago we were written off, the Conservatives were going to walk in with a huge majority,” he said. “Here tonight to have won a three-peat and to see for myself victory here, I think that shows that a lot of hard work has paid off.”

When it comes to how the dynamic in Queen’s Park may change with the Liberals no longer having a majority, Milloy wasn’t jumping to any conclusions.

“We know that Premier McGuinty will continue to be the premier and we’re going to continue to work, focusing very much on the economic issues…. Making sure that Ontario can weather the storm that can potentially be coming,” he said.

In addition to serving two previous terms as the MPP for Kitchener-Centre, Milloy has spent the past four years as Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities. Milloy spoke proudly of the accomplishments of the ministry during his time at its head.

“We’re going to continue to build on a lot of things we’ve done when it comes to education…. [But] most people don’t realize that it’s not just the colleges and universities where we’ve had huge success, but it’s also the training portion which is dealing with those who are unemployed,” he said.

“I think we’ve had some great success, about 50,000 people go through [the second career program] and then the complement of college and university has allowed many people to get that great next step. I think the biggest success is tying that whole education aspect to the economy.”

Milloy wasn’t making any predictions about whether or not he’ll return to the role of minister of training, colleges and universities or take on a different spot in the new Liberal cabinet.

“Any assignment of any nature, whether it be cabinet or otherwise is up to the premier, so I’ll leave that up to him,” said Milloy. “I’m happy to be the MPP for Kitchener-Centre and anything beyond that will be the premier’s decision.”

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