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‘I won’t let you down’: Newly elected MP for King-Vaughan to take affordability issues to Ottawa

Conservative Anna Roberts won a seat in the Sept. 20 federal election
Sept. 27, 2021
Laura Broadley

Conservative Anna Roberts took the riding of King-Vaughan in the Sept. 20 federal election by 1,072 votes over second place incumbent Liberal Deb Schulte.

“It’s an emotional roller-coaster,” Roberts said. “I’m really thrilled. I’m overwhelmed at this point.”

Roberts came away from the night with a total of 22,529 votes over Schulte’s 21,457.

“I do have to thank Deb Schulte. I have to thank her for her service in our community,” Roberts said. “She did an outstanding job.”

NDP candidate Sandra Lozano received 3,234 votes and People’s Party candidate Gilmar Oprisan received 2,139 votes while Green Party candidate Roberta Herod received 620 votes.

Roberts ran as the Conservative candidate in the 2019 federal election and since losing that time her team has put in a lot of work.

“The reason we got to where we got was because we spent many hours on the phone listening to the concerns of the constituents,” she said.

When Roberts makes her way to Ottawa she will continue to “keep (her) ear to the ground” and listen to constituents.

One of the biggest concerns she heard before and during the campaign was the affordability of living in King-Vaughan.

Roberts wants to thank everyone who voted for her.

“I won’t let you down,” she said. “Regardless of whether you voted for me or not, I’m here to serve and hopefully build the trust of the entire community, and that’s what I’m prepared to do.”

Schulte said in a tweet it was the “privilege of (her) life” to serve as MP for King-Vaughan and as Minister of Seniors.

“While the local result was not what I hoped for, I am glad our government can keep moving forward on important initiatives: Climate action. Finishing the fight against the pandemic. Affordable childcare. Affordable housing. Rural broadband, and so much more,” she said.

Party lines generally stayed the same across York Region, but in Markham-Unionville and Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill the seat went from Conservative to Liberal, and in King-Vaughan it went from Liberal to Conservative.

Nelson Wiseman, a political-science professor at University of Toronto, thought the Conservatives would win in the Greater Toronto Area because, he said, the races in those ridings are generally between Conservative and Liberal candidates.

“The polls showed that the NDP vote had gone up nationally from 16 per cent to 19-20 per cent. And I thought what would happen is that although the NDP won’t win any of those seats, whatever extra votes it gets would be coming from otherwise Liberal voters,” Wiseman said.

That would have allowed the Conservatives to win more seats even if their votes didn’t increase, he added.

But the NDP vote didn’t go up as much as expected.

A few seats flipped but it was almost a “mirror” election to what happened in 2019, Wiseman said.

There are a few take-aways from this election the Liberals could grab onto. They learned not to be overly confident and take pre-campaign polls for granted, according to Wiseman.

“What happens is that once an election is called you enter a campaign period where the media ... have to start giving more equal time to the opposition parties,” Wiseman said.

The Liberals called an election during the pandemic because, according to Wiseman, they didn’t think they had to win any seats in English-speaking Canada. The polls showed the Bloc Quebecois was weak in Quebec and the Liberals were going to capitalize on that, but that didn’t happen.

“It was stupid having the election during the pandemic,” Wiseman said.