PCs capture second term
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PCs capture second term
By Steph Cesca, Warren Flood, Paul-Mark Rendon, Christina Vardanis and Dave Yasvinski
Residents of London North demonstrated their faith in Dianne Cunningham last night by re-electing her as Progressive Conservative Minister of Provincial Parliament with an unofficial 13,661 votes.
"Well, we did it," were the first words said by Cunningham, upon entering her campaign quarters victorious.
Cunningham said the PC's clear vision, strength and leadership will ensure a prosperous and productive Ontario well into the new millennium.
"There's no question of the strength of this candidate," said Steve Coats, Cunningham's campaign manager. Coats credited Cunningham's personality and communication skills as the factors which put her ahead of her closest rival, New Democratic Party candidate Marion Boyd, by approximately 3,000 votes.
Boyd conceded defeat, but explained her loss did not mark the end of an NDP presence in London North Centre. "We didn't happen to win this particular fight, but we sure did mobilize the troops for the battle that's ahead," she said.
"It's really tough to lose an election in which, frankly, we did nothing wrong," she said and cited problems such as a shortened campaign period and incomplete voters lists as allowing Cunningham to prevail in the election.
Boyd added the majority PC government was a frightening prospect. "What we need to do as New Democrats is ensure the voice of the disenfranchised is heard," she said. "We need to work to convince people that their vote does count."
Liberal candidate Roger Caranci said even though he failed to win his riding, he will continue to fight for his party.
"I won't say it's over. I won't say it's over by a long shot. There's a lot of time. We can regroup, we'll come back and we'll do it again and the next time will be the time that it happens."
He echoed Boyd's sentiments, adding the Tory majority left him personally concerned about the future of the province and his children. "Education, health care I'm scared of what's going to happen."
Alan Patton, Caranci's campaign manager, said he was proud of the effort put forth by his candidate and agreed the fight was not over. "We have run the best campaign that I've been associated with. Roger Caranci is not through as a liberal spokesman and a liberal leader."