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Richmond Hill goes blue as PC Daisy Wai takes Liberal stronghold

June 7, 2018
Jesse Mclean

Richmond Hill turned blue for the first time in the riding’s history as Progressive Conservative Daisy Wai pried the traditional stronghold from the Liberals.

Wai, a small business owner, finished with a 10,116-vote victory over Liberal incumbent and cabinet minister Reza Moridi.

“I would like to ensure my constituents that I am committed to doing my very best to represent them at Queen’s Park,” Wai said in a statement in which she thanked her volunteers and her family.

Richmond Hill had been held by Moridi since the riding was created in 2007. Since then, the population of the town has increased by more than 30,000, beckoning a condo boom that has put pressure on health care and transportation in the community.

Wai, who previously sat on the MacKenzie Health’s board of directors, told constituents that she was in part motivated to run for office after witnessing the impact “budget freezes and hallway health-care” had on the community.

Traffic congestion was a major election topic for residents in the riding, which stretches from roughly Hwy. 407 to as far north as Elgin Mills Rd., bracketed between Bathurst St. and Hwy. 404. Local business leaders have called on the province to make good on a longtime promise to extend the Yonge St. subway from Finch station into Richmond Hill.

The provincial government has already invested $55 million into preliminary engineering and design work on a five-station extension.

Moridi, a former scientist, said he is proud of his track record as a Liberal cabinet member, a tenure that most recently included being minister of research, innovation and science

“I entered into politics just to serve, no other reason,” Moridi said. “It has been an honour serving the people of Richmond Hill -- they are kind hearted, compassionate and hard working.”

Wai, whose business specializes in marketing and advertising, has served as chairperson of the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce and president of the Richmond Hill and Markham Chinese Business Association. She was also a member of the York Regional Police Services Board.

The other candidates included New Democrat Marco Coletta, Walter Bauer for the Green Party, and Libertarian Igor Bily.