Riding Watch: Battle rages to unseat Wynne in Don Valley West
Published Tuesday, October 4, 2011 6:54AM EDT
Non-Liberal candidates vying to become Don Valley West's MPP are daring to do what many others have failed in doing: unseat incumbent Kathleen Wynne.
She has held a grip on the riding since 2003. Currently serving as Minister of Transportation, this Liberal has also worked as Minister of Education and chair of cabinet, respectively.
Wynne sailed to victory in the last provincial election with 50 per cent of the vote, grabbing 4,924 more ballots than her high-profile PC rival John Tory who is now a Toronto radio show host.
On Oct. 6, the long-time MPP will square off against another Tory broadcaster.
Andrea Mandel-Campbell, the area's Progressive Conservative candidate, has worked as a foreign correspondent and an anchor on the Business News Network. As Ontario stares down projected debt of $245 billion, the first-time candidate's business savvy may become her strongest asset in this election.
Though Don Valley West has been a Liberal fortress for nearly a decade now, the tide could be turning.
In last May's federal election, the Tories managed to break a 23-year streak and seize the riding from the Liberal Party. Conservative candidate John Carmichael nudged incumbent Rob Oliphant out of his seat with 43 per cent of the vote.
With the Oct. 6 election fast approaching, there's no telling if a similar Don Valley West shakeup will happen at the provincial level.
Other candidates to watch in Don Valley West include:
The Green Party's Louis Fliss, an active community organizer who helped complete a report on Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Parks among other tasks.
The NDP's Khalid Ahmed, a criminology student who says he'll help remedy "youth exposure to crime, flaws in community services and the lack of jobs for local residents."
GEOGRAPHY AND DEMOGRAPHY
During a 1999 riding redistribution, Don Valley West was cobbled together with bits of York Mills, York East, Don Mills and Eglinton. The result was an "L"-shaped area bordered by the 401 to the north and the Don River to the south. The riding is also flanked by Yonge Street and Don Mills Road.
Known as a highly-affluent riding, the average family income in Don Valley West is the third-highest in the province and well over $100,000 a year. About three in ten residents hold post-secondary degrees.
A stroll into Don Valley West's west-central area near the Rosedale Golf Club will reveal some of Toronto's largest homes. There are even larger dwellings in the Bayview neighbourhood to the east.
Don Valley West has sizeable Chinese and East Indian communities.
- Soumen Deb (FP)
- Louis Fliss (GRN)
- Kathleen Wynne (LIB) (inc)
- Khalid Ahmed (NDP)
- Andrea Mandel-Campbell (PC)
- Rosemary Waigh (VEP)