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Aurora’s ridings lean Liberal as Canadians re-elect minority government

September 23, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Canadians on Monday night re-elected a Liberal minority government, and both of Aurora’s ridings have gone with the trend.

As of Thursday afternoon, incumbent Liberal Tony Van Bynen led the race in Newmarket-Aurora race with 43.7 per cent of the vote or 24,136 ballots, with Conservative Harold Kim standing at 38.3 per cent, or 21,173 votes.

Elsewhere on the Newmarket-Aurora ballot, Yvonne Kelly of the NDP placed third with 11.5 per cent of the vote (6,317), followed by Andre Gagnon of the People’s Party of Canada with 2,296 (4.2 per cent), Green Party candidate Tim Flemming with 1,015 votes (1.8 per cent), and Independent Dorian Baxter with 260 votes (0.5 per cent).

A slightly tighter race transpired in Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill with Liberal candidate Leah Taylor Roy leading the way over Conservative incumbent Leona Alleslev. Ms. Taylor Roy had received 20,764 votes (45.2 per cent) compared to Ms. Alleslev’s 19,314 (42.1 per cent). In third place was Janice Hagan of the NDP with 3,594 votes (7.8 per cent), Anthony Siskos of the People’s Party of Canada with 1,734 votes (3.8 per cent), and Libertarian Serge Korovitsyn with 500 votes (1.1 per cent).

The Green Party did not field a candidate in Aurora’s south riding.

Nationally, the Liberals under returning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are trending to return to Ottawa with 159 seats, followed by the Conservatives with 119, the Bloc Quebecois with 33, the NDP with 25, and the Green Party of Canada with 2.

Without declaring victory on Monday night due to the closeness of the race, the Liberal candidates in each riding displayed cautious optimism over what lay ahead, including the counting of mail-in ballots.


Mr. Van Bynen spent election night at Newmarket’s Market Brewing Company, where he said he was “feeling pretty comfortable” with how the numbers were trending.

Speaking to supporters, he touted his community roots.

“I have belonged to this community here in Newmarket-Aurora for more than 40 years,” he said, after noting his family’s journey to Canada from The Netherlands in the aftermath of the Second World War. “It is a community that has given me the privilege of representing them for more than 20 years and it is a community that [put their] trust in me in 2019 and they have today.”

Speaking to The Auroran after addressing his supporters, he said that if he is indeed returned to Ottawa once the final numbers have been crunched, his top priorities will be affordable child care, national standards for long-term care, the environment and affordable housing.

“We need to make sure we make a lot of progress on that and that all has to be within a responsible financial plan,” he said.

A lesson he will take back to Ottawa with him if the numbers are in his favour is to “never give up.”

“The harder you work, the luckier you get,” he says. It has been a very strong and good validation of the direction we’re headed into. For me, this is a confirmation that we’re on the right track.”

Over at Cachet, a restaurant at the foot of Newmarket’s Main Street South, Conservative candidate Harold Kim watched the numbers roll in from the patio abutting Fairy Lake.

He told The Auroran he was feeling “fine” at the end of a long evening, noting there are “still a lot of votes to be counted.

“It is hard to say how I feel,” said Kim. “I’m just happy we gave it 110 per cent and I am happy about that.”

The most rewarding experience of the campaign, he said, was getting to know so many people through the course of the previous 36 days.

“For me, in any journey I take in life, it is all about the relationships, so I am really pleased about that. Another great thing about the campaign was I got to know a lot of people in Newmarket. Having knocked on almost 7,500 doors across Newmarket, you get to see different nuances and characteristics of each neighbourhood and there are a lot of wonderful people in Newmarket, so I was very blessed.”

Should Kim prevail after the final ballots are counted, he will have to resign his seat as Deputy Mayor of Aurora. If he is able to take a seat in the House of Commons, he said a priority is to “go back and just review the top items that Newmarket-Aurora residents have mentioned, which is about affordability” [and] “about Canada’s preparedness with this vaccine.”

Although he hadn’t conceded the race, however, Kim admitted that the riding would not likely be going in his direction.

“Currently, it is quite evident that the numbers are not favourable towards us, so until it is official by Elections Canada it is hard to concede, but numbers dictate that Tony got the riding.”


At a gathering held on her front lawn in Aurora, Liberal candidate Leah Taylor Roy said she was going to “declare victory” – but not for herself, but rather for her team and her party.

“We had an amazingly positive campaign,” she told her supporters. “We had an incredible team, and we had such inclusivity, such positivity, such forward motion, that I feel like we have moved forward for everyone in this riding and the Liberal government is going to do the same for Canada.”

Speaking to The Auroran afterwards, she said it was a “tough election” with a lot of tough issues to be talked about, and she says she believes residents of Aurora’s south riding “saw I was a candidate who really wanted to work hard for them.”

“I am grateful and I feel like I am going to work very hard to make sure that they see they didn’t misplace their trust,” she said. “We had an incredible cross-section of people from so many different communities – from the age of 12 to probably 99. People supporting us from all different backgrounds working together.”

Should she secure a seat in the House, she said her priority is to continue to build relationships.

“As I said to people in the riding, I really want to be the best representative I can for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill. For me that means making sure I meet with elected representatives from every level of government, with different community organizations, people who have reached out to me on specific issues. If I have that privilege of serving the people, I can be in a position where I can take action – to go and revisit those things and to really consolidate that support and to build that team locally is my top priority.”

Although Conservative incumbent Leona Alleslev did not hold an election night event, she thanked her team over social media on Tuesday morning.

“A sincere thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last six years,” she said. “I am so lucky to be surrounded by a team of amazing individuals. Your enthusiasm and support have meant the world to me. It has been an honour to work with each and every one of you.”

A request for further comment had not been responded to at press time.

By Brock Weir
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



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