Niagara will continue to see blue with an “elated” Tony Baldinelli taking the win Monday night for the Niagara Falls riding. And though Liberals may take a minority government federally, Baldinelli said the party platform of affordability “really resonated with people” locally.
“From day one we spoke about the need for making life more affordable for everyday hard-working Canadians, and I will take that pledge with me to Ottawa,” Baldinelli said.
He was endorsed by former Niagara Falls MP Rob Nicholson who said supporting Baldinelli was “an easy decision.”
“I’ve known Tony since before he got out of university. I hired him to work in my Ottawa office and he did an outstanding job. He had integrity, he had nothing but the best interest of the people of Niagara at heart,” Nicholson said.
Baldinelli fought back tears as he addressed the crowd of supporters, volunteers and family members in his campaign office, thanking them for their support and vowing to be a voice for the community.
“I stand here humbled by the decision and trust that you’ve placed in me. For a young man who’s always dreamed this day could one day be possible,” he said after results of his win rolled in.
Baldinelli inspired several local teens who took politics to heart this election, and though they are not yet old enough to vote they volunteered their time to help make his campaign a success.
Seventeen-year-old Arrah Patel spent her birthday volunteering for the campaign and waiting out the election results at the campaign office, which she said was the “highlight of her day.”
She said it was her birthday wish for the Conservatives to win, and though they didn’t garner enough support federally, she said she was happy to see the local riding remain blue.
“It doesn’t look great (federally) by the numbers right now,” Patel said as the results came in. “But I’m just glad that Tony won keeping Conservative in Niagara Falls, that’s always good,” Patel said.
She said she’s had an interest in politics since she began understanding the importance of government, in about grade 9 or 10, and she’s always been a Conservative supporter.
“My parents are very political, and that just sparked an interest in me, and it hasn’t died out,” Patel said, adding that she has faith in Baldinelli’s leadership. “I think he’s a strong leader. Whatever he does I can trust that he’ll do what’s best for us.”
Lucas Heaslip, 15-year-old Conservative supporter not only took an interest in politics himself, he encouraged his family to take more of an active role in this year’s campaign.
“This election matters to me because we’ve had four years of scandals and incompetence and I just can’t stand to see all of the controversy that’s been online,” Heaslip said.
He said he had been at the campaign office since 10 a.m. and he intended to stay until the results were in. The overall vibe for the afternoon was “hopeful and positive,” he said.
Across the Falls, the other candidates celebrated their campaigns with their teams. At the Old Stone Inn Boutique Hotel in Niagara Falls, Liberal candidate Andrea Kaiser, who came in second place, thanked her campaign team, volunteers, mentors and family members.
“Looking at the polls, we did so well,” Kaiser told the crowd of supporters gathered at Old Stone Inn Boutique Hotel in Niagara Falls. “While we didn’t get the result we’ve wanted, we have re-energized Liberals across the riding.”
NDP candidate Brian Barker and his team gathered at D’Vinci’s Pizza, and had an attitude of perserverance as the results became clear.
“I think we laid the groundwork to do some really cool stuff,” Barker told his team. “I want to thank some people up here for their support — the volunteers who came in and helped out, whether it was one hour or for 200 hours, your support is equally helpful.”
He also thanked MPP Wayne Gates for his support during his campaign.