Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberals Take Back GTA on the Road to Winning Government

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberals Take Back GTA on the Road to Winning Government

Article excerpt

Liberals sweep GTA on the road to power

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TORONTO - Voters in the critical Greater Toronto Area dissolved their four-year-long contract with Stephen Harper's Conservatives on Monday night, returning the Liberals to the region in a near clean sweep and propelling the party to power.

Meanwhile, in the downtown core, a complete collapse of NDP support also helped to push the Liberals over the top. Liberal incumbent Adam Vaughan beat the NDP's Olivia Chow in Spadina-Fort York in one of the most hotly contested fights in the province.

"There was a red wave that went from Atlantic Canada to Ontario and I got caught up with it, on it, by it," Chow told reporters. Chow held the riding before she left in 2014 in an unsuccessful bid for the mayoralty.

"They liked me personally as a public servant...but their desire to defeat Stephen Harper was so overwhelming that they said OK, we'll go with the Liberals."

The Liberal victory in the region was decisive, encompassing Toronto proper and the suburbs. Even late NDP Leader Jack Layton's former riding of Toronto-Danforth went red.

Former Conservative cabinet ministers, Joe Oliver, Roxanne James, Chris Alexander and Julian Fantino lost their seats.

Oliver, the former finance minister, said he'd reserve his analysis of the party's national campaign. He said his team worked as hard as they could have to win the riding, but the circumstances worked against them.

"We felt quite confident until a few weeks ago that we had enough support. I had internal polls that showed us ahead, but clearly they were showing a decline in support, so the wave just swept over us," said Oliver.

"It was a continued increase in the Liberal support, and the precipitous collapse in the NDP support."

Despite having campaigned with native sons Doug and Rob Ford in the west-end Toronto area of Etobicoke twice in the past week, the Conservatives lost Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Etobicoke Centre. …

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