New Liberal elected to Brampton-Springdale – Brampton Guardian

Brampton Guardian

BRAMPTON— Brampton-Springdale Liberal candidate Harinder Malhi is a new face on the provincial political scene, but she has spent the last three-and-a-half years sowing the seeds for this Ontario election night victory in Flowertown.

With a Liberal majority government projected, about an hour after the polls closed Thursday night Malhi was in front of cheering supporters at Satkar Palace Banquet Hall declaring victory for voters and Liberals.

“Thank you all. You are my backbone,” she said.

“We have a lot of work ahead. I’ve heard your concerns,” she said, adding the Liberal budget that couldn’t find political support at Queen’s Park a month ago would be passed in the next 20 days.

Malhi, who is the daughter of former long-time Brampton Liberal MP Gurbax Malhi, called out for her father before thanking family, friends and volunteers for their support.

The elder Malhi expressed his pride as a father and also confessed his daughter’s victory fulfills his “dream” to have a family member follow in his political footsteps.

The younger Malhi brought some community recognition to the table despite being new to the provincial stage. She has been a Peel District School Board trustee since 2010.

But the sudden move to provincial politics was still a big step up for the 33-year-old real estate agent.

Malhi was confident heading into election night, believing she had the support needed to keep the Brampton-Springdale seat in Liberal hands.

“The Liberal Party is the only party with a plan,” she insisted.

Kathleen’s Wynne’s vision for Ontario was easy to sell as she knocked on doors, according to Malhi, Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak’s plan for the province was troubling to voters.

“People are sacred of what is going to happen with the economy,” she continued. “They’re scared of losing their job.”

After some prodding though, she admitted there was concern the New Democrats and their support from labour unions could end up splitting the Liberal vote and allow Hudak and the Tories to win.

Malhi reclaimed a seat that has belonged to the Liberal Party for the last 11 years. But it was regarded as up for grabs by all three major parties heading into the Thursday’s election after incumbent Liberal MPP and cabinet minister Linda Jeffrey vacated the seat to run in the Brampton mayoral race.

Progressive Conservative candidate Pam Hundal came into this race with more battle experience than her political foes.

She ran for the PC’s in Bramalea-Gore-Malton in 2007 and finished second— by more than 7,000 votes— to former Liberal MPP Kuldip Kular.

In 2011, she campaigned for the party again in Brampton-Springdale and finished second to Jeffrey by 2,909 votes.

The second defeat was stinging, but she had made obvious headway with voters. Also, Jeffrey’s margin of victory over Hundal was much slimmer than the lopsided win of more than 7,000 votes over former Liberal MPP turned Tory candidate Carman McClelland during the 2007 races.

The local lawyer remained publicly visible between campaigns— involving herself in hot-button community issues like the Peel Memorial Hospital redevelopment and Heart Lake highrise condo proposal.

Still, she ended up a distant third in the final tally Thursday night.

As the clock approached midnight, Hundal sat around a table at Chandni Banquet Hall with family. Most of her disappointed supporters had long since departed.

“I think the voters just did not connect with the (Conservative) platform that was offered,” Hundal said during a quiet moment. “There was a huge communication gap for sure.”

That communication breakdown only fuelled the fears of voters, she said, and ultimately turned them away from the Tory platform.

New Democratic Party candidate Gurpreet Dhillon was a political neophyte running for Ontario’s third party in a community that has elected just one New Democrat to Queen’s Park— and that milestone was in last the provincial election.

However, he finished second in the Brampton-Springdale race— receiving 3,247 more votes than Hundal.

Elections Ontario results showed Malhi winning with 16,848 votes, followed by Dhillon with 13,481 votes, then Hundal with 10,234, Green Party candidate Laila Zarrabi was fourth with 1,322 votes and Communist Party candidate Elizabeth Hill had 398 votes.

The voter turnout in the riding was 46.5 per cent— the highest in the city.

During the 2011 election, Jeffrey won the Brampton-Springdale seat with 15,663 votes. Hundal ended up second with 12,754 votes and New Democrat Mani Singh was the third place finisher with 5,378 ballots.

Details

Liberal candidate Harinder Malhi wins Brampton-Springdale – Toronto Star

Brampton-Springdale will remain Liberal red, as Harinder Malhi held onto her party’s seat Thursday night.

“The Liberal brand is strong in Brampton-Springdale,” Malhi said, seemingly overwhelmed after walking into a raucous banquet hall surrounded by a crush of supporters moments after she was declared the victor.

“Where’s my dad?,” she asked, taking the stage minutes later. Gurbax Malhi, a former Liberal MP who held a nearby seat for 18 years, wasn’t far away, beaming at his daughter, soon to be a rookie MPP.

Asked what’s first on her agenda, Malhi said, “To get to Queen’s Park and pass that budget.” She said local priorities such as high car insurance rates, more healthcare services and education issues will also be at the top of her things to do list.

Brampton-Springdale became a wide open race when in March Linda Jeffrey resigned as the riding’s longtime MPP.

Three issues dominated the campaign in Brampton-Springdale as the country’s ninth largest city continues to experience growing pains due to explosive development: Sky-high auto-insurance rates in Brampton, partly driven by a high incidence of insurance fraud in the city; the desire for a stand-alone university campus to make post-secondary costs more manageable; jobs, after the recession’s big hit to Brampton’s huge manufacturing base that has seen a rise in unstable temporary work; and more health-care facilities in the rapidly growing area.

All three of Brampton-Springdale’s major candidates are Sikh. But unlike previous decades when the Liberal party had that community’s support largely because of the federal party’s friendly immigration policies, this huge demographic group (about 40 per cent of the riding’s residents in 2011 were south asian and about half of those were Sikhs) does not vote as a Liberal bloc any more (As Thursday’s election results suggest).

The PCs spoke to the fiscal conservatism that many Brampton-Springdale voters relate to, with promises of balanced budgets and tax cuts.

Gurpreet Dhillon and his NDP campaigned largely on the promise of jobs, not the type of precarious part-time work becoming more common in Brampton, but stable jobs in both the white and blue-collar sectors.

Harinder Malhi caught some flack for apparently riding on her father’s coattails, as Gurbax Malhi, the Liberal MP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton from 1993 until 2011, was busy campaigning for his daughter and appearing at events.

But her experience as a Peel District School Board Trustee for the last three years helped her carve out her own space in the heated race.

Details

NDP and Liberal candidates hold seats in Bramalea-Gore-Malton and Brampton … – Toronto Star

  • Liberal MPP Vic Dhillon won a handy victory over his opponents in Brampton West.zoom

Key MPPs for both the NDP and the Liberals retained their seats in Bramalea-Gore-Malton and Brampton West on Thursday.

The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh, despite a hard-fought battle with the Liberal’s Kuldip Kular, will once again sit in the legislature for Bramalea-Gore-Malton. Meanwhile Brampton West’s Vic Dhillon handily rode to victory.

The two ridings to the northwest of the GTA had some of the lowest voter turnout in the province last election, with less than 40 per cent of registered voters making it to the polls. Low turnout tends to benefit the incumbent.

Bramalea-Gore-Malton’s Singh, as the NDP justice critic, is seen as a bit of a rising star in the party. His election in 2011 came as a bit of a surprise, as no NDP candidate had served for the riding since it was created in 1999. Singh has made fairer insurance rates and protection against temporary employment agencies key parts of his platform.

Kular was looking to get his post back Thursday, but was unable to capitalize on the Liberal’s majority win. He served as Bramalea-Gore-Malton’s MPP from 2003 until 2011, when he was defeated by Singh by more than 2,000 votes. Kular largely took aim at the strict austerity measures proposed by PC leader Tim Hudak, including cutting thousands of public sector employees such as teachers.

Singh also faced Green candidate Pauline Thornham and PC candidate Harjit Jaswal.

Brampton West’s Dhillon has been a fixture for the Liberals since 2003 when he defeated Tony Clement — now the president of the federal treasury board — in the former riding of Brampton South. In the 2011 election, Dhillon took nearly 44 per cent of the vote.

Key issues in the heavily populated and diverse riding include job creation, the minimum wage and auto insurance rates.

Dhillon was challenged by Randeep Sandhu for the PC’s, Gugni Gill Panaich for the NDP and the Green Party’s Sayyeda Ebrahim.

Details