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Liberal cabinet minister Steven Del Duca loses to PC newcomer in Vaughan-Woodbridge

June 7, 2018
Noor Javed

The blue wave riding through the GTA suburbs was felt in Vaughan-Woodbridge, as incumbent and Liberal favourite Steven Del Duca was unseated.

Progressive Conservative candidate Michael Tibollo won with 50.5 per cent of the vote. Despite his loss, Del Duca was greeted Thursday by a room full of supporters, including some local Vaughan councillors.

Del Duca thanked his supporters by name, and then told the crowd they should be proud to have supported a party that achieved so much.

“This has not been the night we were all hoping for -- here in Woodbridge and right across the province,” Del Duca said.

“Whatever comes next for our party, and whatever introspective process we will rightfully go through ... we should not feel ashamed or embarrassment,” he said, talking about the party’s achievements including bringing a hospital and hospice to Vaughan, full-day kindergarten, closing coal plants and protection of the Greenbelt.

The riding of Vaughan-Woodbrige was new riding after the previous riding of Vaughan was dissolved when the electoral boundaries were redrawn.

The riding, which extends from Major Mackenzie Dr. W. to the north, Highway 50 to the east, Highway 400 to the west and Steeles Ave. W. to the south, is heavily Italian, and was thought to be a safe Liberal seat for Del Duca.

Del Duca, who was the provincial minister of transportation for four years, said he has effectively delivered both transit enhancements, and highway expansions to residents in his riding.

Throughout the campaign period, signs for party leader Doug Ford were seen around the riding -- and Ford himself made a stop at a bakery in the riding earlier this week, to offer support.

Tibollo’s campaign was dogged with controversy over the year, after news emerged that controversial former Vaughan councillor Michael Di Biase was helping with his campaign. Di Biase resigned from office in 2017, after facing allegations of sexual harassment.