The local Liberal candidate is disappointed in the provincial election results, but he’s staying positive and willing to try again in the future.
“It’s not what we were hoping for,” said Ted Crysler from his campaign party on Hurontario Street in Collingwood on June 2. “I felt we ran a good campaign locally, and we kept it positive.”
Crysler said he enjoyed the door-to-door canvassing part of the campaign, and he learned a lot about the concerns of Simcoe-Grey residents.
He cited affordability, health care, schools, and environment as the main topics of worry for local residents, and noted he encountered many who said they didn’t want Doug Ford back in the office of the premier.
Though not all results are official yet, the Ford-led Progressive Conservatives have about 83 seats in the province and received about 1.88 million votes. The NDP will form the official opposition with 31 seats (1.09 million votes), and the Liberals have eight seats (1.09 million votes).
Combined, the NDP and Liberals have more votes than the PCs, but fewer than half the seats, a fact Crysler used to indicate issues with the current first-past-the-post system. The Liberals proposed a ranked ballot.
He criticized Ontario media for being conservative-leaning and said it’s difficult to counter consistent messaging suggesting Ford would win a victory again.
“I encountered a lot of ‘what’s the point?’” said Crysler. “But I still believe we can win if we get together.”
He is disappointed in a low voter turnout. Unofficial results show about 43 per cent turnout in Simcoe-Grey.
“Forty-three per cent is abysmal,” he said. “I’m disappointed ... it’s important we all keep democracy alive ... we take it seriously.”
Liberal party leader Steven Del Duca did not win his Vaughan riding and announced he had resigned as party leader.
“It’s unfortunate because I think he would have been a good premier,” said Crysler. “He had a good grasp of the issues, and he is collaborative ... I know he’s not charismatic, but he would have been a good leader.”
Crysler said the party will have to go back into growth mode, and he’s not going anywhere. He’s already decided he will run again if given the opportunity.
The unofficial results after all 64 polls in Simcoe-Grey reported results showed Brian Saunderson, PC, with 27,060 votes (51 per cent), Crysler with 11,680 votes (22 per cent), Keith Nunn, NDP, with 5,838 votes (11 per cent), and Allan Kuhn with 4,737 votes (about nine per cent).
There were 121,996 registered voters in Simcoe-Grey, and voter turnout was about 43.3 per cent. In the 2018 election, about 57 per cent of registered voters cast a ballot in the riding.