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Markham-Thornhill goes PC, electing Logan Kanapathi

June 7, 2018
Emily Mathieu

It was a PC victory in Markham-Thornhill, with Logan Kanapathi claiming a clear and early win in the hotly contested and relatively new riding.

Kanapathi has served as a city councillor in Markham and was first elected to that office in 2006, then won the 2010 and 2014 elections and was the first Tamil Canadian elected to political office in North America, according to his campaign website.

“Fixing 15 years of Liberal neglect and mismanagement will not happen overnight. But the Ontario Progressive Conservative party has a plan for the people to get Ontario back on track,” Kanapathi told Metroland, in the days leading up the election.

Kanapathi won with 18,943 votes or 50.5 per cent of the total vote. Liberal candidate Juanita Nathan claimed 24 per cent and NDP candidate Cindy Hackelberg about 21 per cent, with all 42 polls reporting.

The York Region area riding is home to 99,075 people, as noted in 2016 census data and key election issues included public transit, child care, energy costs and car insurance.

The riding was redefined in time for the 2015 federal election, so there was no incumbent candidate for the provincial race.

Liberals won both the federal election and the 2017 byelection. However, in the provincial race the riding was projected to lean conservative, based on a data model by Barry Kay, an elections expert and associate professor of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Going into the night Nathan was confident. “The riding has been a Liberal riding for a long period of time, people are happy with Liberals,” she told the Star on Monday.

Hackelberg, in the last days of the race, told the Star that momentum for the NDP had been building, as it became clear the Liberals would not be in power.

“I am hearing a lot that people say this will our first time voting NDP,” she said Tuesday