Liberal Milloy takes a tight one

As many questioned whether or not the Liberal party would win the majority government they were so close to in Oct. 6’s provincial election, one of the party’s more prominent candidates was waiting to see if he would even be re-elected.

In a result that wasn’t announced until 12:21 a.m — one of the latest in the province— incumbent John Milloy defeated Progressive Conservative Dave MacDonald by just 323 votes in Kitchener Centre, giving the Liberal a third term as the riding’s member of provincial parliament (MPP). Milloy was elected with 15,392 votes, while MacDonald picked up 15,069, according the unofficial results currently available.

“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 in his riding. “Every politician knows they’re not getting 100 per cent of the vote … There’s people that are sending clear messages about their concerns and we’ve got to make sure we respond to them.”

After winning a relatively close election in his first campaign in 2003, Milloy was re-elected in 2007 in convincing fashion. In that 2007 election, Milloy was sent to Queen’s Park with 45.9 per cent of the vote, defeating Progressive Conservative Matt Stanson by nearly 8,000 votes.

In addition to serving two terms as Kitchener Centre’s MPP, Milloy has also spent the past four years in the role of minister of training, colleges and universities. In that time the Liberal government has spent lavishly on post-secondary education, particularly in this region, including this past summer, when Milloy announced that the provincial government would commit $72.6 million to Wilfrid Laurier University for the planned Global Innovation Exchange building.

“I think we’ve had some great success and we’re going to continue to build on a lot of things we’ve done when it comes to education,” said Milloy of his time as minister of training, colleges and universities. “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.”

As far as reprising his old role, or taking on a different one in the new Liberal government, Milloy wasn’t making predictions.

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

Milloy’s victory in Kitchener Centre marked the only one for the Liberals in Waterloo Region as the other three local ridings went to the Progressive Conservatives. Elizabeth Witmer kept the seat she’s held since 1990 in Kitchener-Waterloo, Rob Leone upheld the long-time PC stronghold in Cambridge and Liberal incumbent Leanna Pendergast was defeated by Tory Michael Harris in Kitchener-Conestoga.

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