Six key races to watch in Toronto and the GTA
MPs look on in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Sunday, August 2, 2015 9:42AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 6, 2015 1:14PM EDT
In 2011 the Conservative Party won the majority of seats in the 905 and then went on to form a majority government. This time around the region should again be a key battleground, especially with eleven new ridings up for grabs. Here is a list of six races to watch in Toronto and the GTA:
Parts of the old ridings of Toronto Centre and Trinity-Spadina were combined to form this new downtown riding that spans from Lake Ontario to the south, Dundas Street to the north, the Don River to the east and Dufferin Street to the west. Though there is no incumbent per-se, there are two candidates that most people in the riding will be very familiar with. Olivia Chow, who represented Trinity-Spadina for eight years before resigning to mount a mayoral campaign, is expected to run for the NDP and former city councillor Adam Vaughan, who succeeded Chow in a hotly contested byelection, is carrying the banner for the Liberals. Discussing Chow’s entrance into the race last week, Vaughan said he isn’t worried about taking on the four-term MP. "I've run up against the NDP in every campaign I've won," Vaughan said. "The NDP have never given me a free ride in this part of the city and I've prevailed."
Current candidates - Adam Vaughan (Liberal), Sabrina Zuniga (Conservative) and Olivia Chow (NDP).
One of other significantly revamped ridings in the City of Toronto, University-Rosedale combines parts of Trinity-Spadina and Toronto Centre and covers many iconic neighbourhoods, including Little Italy, the Annex, Yorkville and most of Chinatown. Liberal Chrystia Freeland has served as the MP for the former riding of Toronto Centre since winning a byelection to succeed Bob Rae two years ago but she could face a challenge from the left in the new riding of University-Rosedale with former MuchMusic VJ Jennifer Hollett running for the NDP. Elections Canada’s transposition of the 2011 voting results on the new riding boundaries show the NDP would have won University-Rosedale with 43.8 per cent of the vote compared to 30.5 per cent for the Liberals and 20 per cent for the Conservatives.
Current candidates - Chrystia Freeland (Liberal), Karim Jivraj (Conservative), Jennifer Hollet (NDP), Nick Wright (Green Party).
New Democrat Rathika Sitsabaiesan easily won the former riding of Scarborough Rouge River in 2011 but Scarborough North, which combines Scarborough Rouge and Scarborough – Agincourt, could be a different story. According to Elections Canada’s transposition of the 2011 voting results on the new riding boundaries, the NDP would have only won Scarborough North with 35.3 per cent of the vote in 2011 compared to 33.3 per cent for the Conservatives and 28.9 per cent for the Liberals. In this election, Sitsabaiesan will be challenged by Liberal candidate and former TDSB trustee Shaun Chen and Conservative candidate and community activist Ravinder Malhi.
Current candidates - Rathika Sitsabaiesan (NDP), Ravinder Malhi (Conservative), Shaun Chen (Liberal).
The Conservative party won all five Mississauga seats in 2011 but in most of those ridings the Liberals weren’t far behind, setting up a number of hotly-contested races this time around. One 905 riding that could be interesting is Mississauga-Streetsville. In 2011, Conservative Brad Butt defeated current Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie by a few thousands votes to win the riding but he could face a challenge this time around from Liberal candidate Gagan Sikand and NDP candidate Fayaz Karim. Butt ended up in hot water last February after he retracted a story that he had told a parliamentary committee about alleged instances of voter fraud that he witnessed. At the time, the NDP accused Butt of deliberately misleading the house but Butt contended that he simply “misspoke.”
Current candidates - Brad Butt (Conservative), Gagan Sikand (Liberal), Fayaz Karim (NDP), Chris Hill (Green Party).
NDP Dan Harris won the riding by about 1,300 votes in 2011 and he could be in for an even tougher battle this time around. Former Police Chief Bill Blair, who retired from the Toronto Police Service in April, is running for the Liberal party in the riding and will bring plenty of name-recognition to the race. In February when Blair’s candidacy was just a rumour Forum Research conducted a poll and found that Blair had the support of 39 per cent of respondents compared to 29 per cent for Harris and 27 per cent for the not-yet-nominated Conservative candidate.
Current candidates - Dan Harris (NDP), Bill Blair (Liberal).
Conservative Richmond Hill MP Costas Menegakis has opted to run in the new riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill , leaving his former riding without an incumbent. Local businessman Michael Parsa will carry the banner for the Conservative party while consultant Majid Jowhari will run for the Liberals and engineer and software developer Adam DeVita will run for the NDP. Richmond Hill was represented by Liberal MP Bryon J. Wilfert for 14 years before Menegakis took the riding in 2011.
Current candidates - Michael Parsa (Conservative), Majid Jowhari (Liberal), Adam DeVita (NDP).
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