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Terry Dowdall keeps Simcoe–Grey blue in landslide

September 23, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The voters have spoken, and the Liberal government, led by Justin Trudeau, will return for a third term, although the bid for a majority government during the pandemic election of 2021 was not realized.

In Simcoe–Grey, with just 36-days to campaign, incumbent elect Terry Dowdall, Conservative, will continue to represent the riding in Ottawa.

Overall results (with 236 of 237 polls reporting at press time) of the 71,683 total votes cast saw Dowdall win by a landslide, taking 47.1% (33,734 ballots) of the popular vote. Bren Munro, Liberal, with 27.5% (19,721 ballots) of the voters’ confidence. NDP candidate for Simcoe–Grey Lucas Gillies, won 13.5% of the vote (9,684 ballots).

Adam Minatel, People’s Party of Canada candidate, took 7.5% (5,374) of the vote; Nicholas Clayton, Green Party of Canada representative in Simcoe–Grey, took 3.9% (2797); and Ken Stouffer, Christian Heritage Party, ended up with 0.5% (373) of the vote.

Dowdall, a New Lowell resident, spoke to The Times after the election, and said, “I am quite honoured to represent the people of Simcoe–Grey once again, but quite frankly it doesn’t matter what party you’re from, but during the pandemic this election – worth $612,000,000 – was a waste of time.”

“COVID has put a lot of pressure on people’s lives already, and we have seen how the COVID–19 numbers have gone up during this election process,” he continued. “ I’d like to thank my team, my campaign managers and my sign teams who did a lot of hard work. I would also like to thank those who came out to vote. It was an important election to vote in, and I’m glad that people did, despite the challenges.”

Of the campaigning process, Dowdall said, “We have a fantastic team. We knocked on as many doors as possible, while following proper safety protocols and we tried to connect with as many people as we could during that short time.”

Of the constituents he spoke to, Dowdall said he spoke to many were angry and frustrated and wanted to know “why are we having this election?”

Dowdall also heard from several seniors who expressed their financial frustrations, stating they were falling behind financially and were confused about how the Liberals were giving money to 75-year olds and not 65 year olds. Dowdall also told The Times that Internet connectivity and pricing was a frustration for constituents.

Health care was also a top priority.

“We need healthy communities,” said Dowdall. “We could have spent the money used for the election to rebuild our local hospitals.”

There was also some confusion about vaccines, and who was responsible for mandating the distribution.

“People are frustrated – no matter what side of the vaccination issue they are on,” said Dowdall.

Home ownership and affordable housing overall was also raised as a concern.

“This is a huge issue here in Simcoe–Grey,” said Dowdall. “To begin, the trek of home ownership is out of reach for most people. We need to keep people optimistic in these trying times – because if we don’t, we aren’t caring for mental health, which creates another issue altogether.”

On the Federal election process itself, Dowdall said, “There should be a vote of confidence in the House of Commons before the Prime Minister is allowed to call an election. That way people know who called the election, and why. We knew it wasn’t the right time for the public, or those working the polling stations, either. It was opposite to what we should have been doing during the pandemic.”

Dowdall also told The Times that he was concerned about the Liberal minority government doing a good job, or calling another federal election in 18-months – something Trudeau said might happen if he did not win a majority.

“Sometimes they really underestimate what is happening in the individual ridings,” said Dowdall. “We need optimism back again. I’m worried about my kids, and how they’ll manage the current debt. We’re spending all the money for today, and not realizing what will happen tomorrow. We need to create a work force that can afford to stay here in Canada and buy houses. It’s slowly creeping up – and we have to find a way to stop the spending. In Simcoe–Grey, I understand what’s important to local municipalities – having come up through the municipal ranks.”

Overall, Terry Dowdall wants to thank the voters.

“I want to thank everyone who went out and voted, whether they voted for me or not. And the ones that voted for me just a little more. I also want to thank the people who put their names forward for the other parties. Congratulations to them that they ran,” said Dowdall.

Feedback from other Simcoe–Grey candidates

On Election Day, The Times polled candidates prior to the close of the ballot boxes, asking them for feedback once the results were in.

Simcoe–Grey Green Party candidate Nick Clayton:

What is your opinion of the election results? Are you surprised in any way?

The outcome of the election did not come as a surprise. Canadians got what we expected, which is a government that looks much like what we had before the election, both federally and in Simcoe-Grey. It was exciting to have Ontario elect its first Green MP, Mike Morrice (Kitchener-Centre)

How was your campaigning process, and what did you hear/learn from the constituents of Simcoe–Grey?

The campaign was like getting on a moving train. The writ had already been dropped before I became involved in the campaign. I am pleased that I was able to provide our riding with a Green option, as not all ridings across Canada had a Green Party candidate. Credit goes to the dedicated EDA and enthusiastic volunteers for making this happen in Simcoe-Grey. As a candidate, I heard people’s anxiety about the climate emergency, and their desire for decisive action to mitigate the crisis in a way that supports every Canadian while we transition to a prosperous no-carbon economy. I heard from self-employed entrepreneurs and artists in support of a guaranteed livable income that would invest directly in people, ensuring they are able to become successful, productive members in their community. I heard determined voices looking for allies to protect water from pollution and extraction. Many expressed solidarity with Indigenous peoples in the wake of the gruesome discovery of mass graves at residential school sites, and their empathy led them to want to mend our nation-to-nation relationships. I have to mention that the most discussed issue was related to vaccines. While I understand and empathize with those who hold strong beliefs on the issue of vaccines and vaccine passports, those conversations were complicated by misinformation, confusion and pseudo-science. This strengthened my resolve that objectivity, science and evidence are more important now than ever, and represent the best way forward for society. 

What did you think of the election process itself? How can the system improve?

The election was poorly timed in almost every way, but it was the overlap with the beginning of the school year in particular, combined with the cancellation of campus voting, that made the process more complicated for many students who were just getting settled and focusing on a new school year. I otherwise commend Elections Canada for making pandemic voting feel safe and secure in Simcoe-Grey.

Do you think the winning party will benefit Canadians? Do you think the locally elected MP will represent the area well?

A Liberal minority will be kept in check by having to cooperate with the NDP, BQ, and Green MPs, and that will likely ensure that we continue to see progressive policy that benefits Canadians on climate, affordability, the economy, Indigenous issues, and social equity. I am not certain that the same will apply in Simcoe-Grey, as Conservative MP Terry Dowdall will continue to ignore the majority of voters in this riding who want to “secure the future” through sincere and effective action on the climate crisis. He may be safe in his position while ignoring the biggest threat (and opportunity) we currently face, but are his constituents?

How do you plan to stay involved in local politics? Would you run again?

I do plan on staying on with the Green Party, and you will likely see me run again in the next election, whenever that may be. Between now and then, I plan on connecting with more local organizations and strengthening my connection with groups working for climate and social equity. Other priorities will be hearing the needs of First Nations, and also connecting with farmers to find ways to align our priorities for Green solutions.

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It is difficult being progressive in a Conservative riding, but it is important to give voters a choice on the ballot that promotes proven solutions that work for people, the environment, and the economy. The world is changing whether we like it or not, and I believe that the best type of disruption is what we choose to do in order to build a more just, resilient, sustainable and prosperous clean energy future. Change is possible, we just need the will to do it.

Liberal Party candidate Bren Munro:

What is your opinion of the election results? Are you surprised in any way?

I’m gratified to see Prime Minister Trudeau re-elected and am excited to see our campaign promises put into action. Locally, I wish Terry Dowdall well, and hope he can work with the government to help our community.

How was your campaigning process, and what did you hear/learn from the constituents of Simcoe–Grey?

I learned a lot on this campaign. I spent a lot of time at doors talking to people and talking about their issues and concerns. I heard a lot about housing and the environment and can say for certain that we definitely have a lot of very passionate people in this riding!

What did you think of the election process itself? How can the system improve?

I have a lot of respect for Elections Canada and how they handled what was by all accounts a very challenging election for them. I’m sure that everyone involved, including Elections Canada, learned a few things along the way.

Do you think the winning party will benefit Canadians? Do you think the locally elected MP will represent the area well?

I think that the re-elected Liberal government will continue delivering results for Canadians. I can’t wait to see things like $10 a day daycare and the new rent-to-own housing initiative in action. Terry Dowdall has been the MP in Simcoe-Grey for two years now. I think he’ll continue representing us the way he always has. I’m sure that he’ll do his best to serve the residents of Simcoe-Grey.

How do you plan to stay involved in local politics? Would you run again?

I plan to stay involved for sure, time will tell in what capacity. I haven’t made up my mind about running again just yet. It’s certainly something I would consider, though.

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I’d like to thank everyone involved in this election. My opponents for a spirited race, Elections Canada for making sure the process was fair for everyone, the press for keeping the citizens informed, and especially my campaign volunteers for putting in so many hours doing their best to serve this community.

On the national front, two party leaders lost in their own ridings –  Green Party Leader Annamie Paul lost in Toronto Centre and People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier lost his seat in Quebec riding of Beauce.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was re-elected in riding of Papineau; Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was re-elected in Durham; NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was re-elected in the B.C. riding of Burnaby South; and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet was re-elected in Beloeil-Chambly.

By Wendy Gabrek


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