Witmer holds out for another victory

Even after 21 years, Elizabeth Witmer isn’t going anywhere from her job as an Ontario MPP. The incumbent of the Kitchener-Waterloo riding was re-elected, while the McGuinty government remains in power for the province.

“It was fantastic, it is just so exciting, I just had a great team this election,” said Witmer, noting that her team consisted of students, seniors and her family. “I’ve never had so much diversity in my team.”

“I appreciate the fact that the people came together and it’s just so humbling,” she added.

For this election, Witmer won about 43 per cent, or approximately 21,000 votes, of the riding. In 2007, Witmer won 20,731 of the votes, but only 40.89 per cent.

Witmer ended her campaign off at the Waterloo Inn, where many of her supporters watched the results of the election unfold. As she walked into the room after her win was confirmed, her supporters greeted her with an enthusiastic chant of her name.

Waterloo residents, Steve and Francis, who declined to disclose their last names, stated that even though were relatively new to the area, they were there to support Witmer because of the assistance she gave them.

“I’ve always liked her, when I had health issues, she went right to health minister and held her accountable,” said Francis, adding that Witmer helped her get treatment that she needed.

Throughout her campaign, Witmer has been citing unemployment, in particular among youth, and economy as her major concerns. She hopes to address those issues as she continues her work in Queen’s Park in Toronto.

“I’m extremely concerned about the youth unemployment rate of 15 per cent, we have graduates from our universities and colleges, and students have come to us claiming they just can’t find a job,” she explained.

Since the riding has two universities and college, Witmer said she is deeply invested in the concerns of students.

“Obviously they are a little bit concerned about the tuition, certainly some of the funding,” Witmer continued. “The biggest issue for them all is, lets make sure we create an environment where by the private sector could make some jobs.”

When asked about her thoughts about the outcome of the campaign, Witmer responded, “I’m not sure what did go wrong.”

However, Witmer believes that this is not an issue with leadership of the party, “I don’t think there will be a leadership issue, but obviously you take look at what you did and what you did well, and you take a look where you could have done things a little bit better.”

“I think the voters had a tough time making a decision, I think that the results demonstrated that,” she said.

Eric Davis, the Liberal party candidate for Kitchener-Waterloo, came to the hotel to personally congratulate Witmer on her victory. Witmer also stated she liked the efforts made by Isabel Cisterna, the NDP candidate.

“I appreciated the sincerity of the NDP candidate. She was a great candidate,” she said.

At the end of day, Witmer believes that the economy is what needs to be improved for Ontarians. “People want to see confidence … I think they want us all to work together,” she asserted.

With the possibility of another four years of opposition, Witmer stated she’ll continue to work as an MPP and she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

“I love my job,” she concluded.

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