Green Party candidate Aislinn Clancy captured the hearts of voters last Thursday as she won the provincial byelection in Kitchener Centre.
“It’s going to be tiring, and that’s where I hope all of you will continue on this journey and keep voting Greens into office. It really makes a difference,” said Clancy during her celebration party at McMullan’s restaurant in Kitchener.
Clancy came out on top with a final vote count of 11,334, which was 5,022 more than her second-place rival, Debbie Chapman of the NDP.
PCP candidate Rob Elliot placed third with 3,003 votes, while the Liberal candidate Kelly Steiss finished fourth with a mere 1,716 votes.
This year’s election featured 18 candidates on the ballot representing a total of 13 parties, making it the largest ever in an Ontario election. Ballots this year were counted using tabulators as opposed to paper ballots. This allowed faster counting of votes, with final results being posted before 10:30 p.m.
According to Elections Ontario, participation in this year’s byelection decreased dramatically, with 27.1 per cent of registered voters casting their ballots compared to last year’s 46.2 per cent.
The byelection was held after former MPP Laura Mae Lindo stepped down in July, announcing her new role at the University of Waterloo’s philosophy department.
Clancy is currently a city councillor in Kitchener. Following her win, the new MPP will join Guelph MPP and Green Leader Mike Schreiner. She will also be required to step down from her role as city councillor under Ontario’s Municipal Act, which forbids her from holding both positions.
Moving forward, Clancy is looking to put an emphasis on the housing crisis and the cost of living. The politician hopes to put forth ideas on rent control, new rules and penalties for renovictions, as well as free transit for young people, seniors and people with disabilities. “Keep voting Greens into office; it really makes a difference,” said Clancy as she addressed the crowd. “I think it’s going to be a great couple of years. We’re going to get things done, and we’re going to serve the people well; we’re going to bring their voice to government.”