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May. 24, 2022 | Tuesday
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Barker campaign celebrates progress and perseverance
NDP candidate Brian Barker on election night with supporters and fans. (Richard Harley/Niagara Now)

Richard Harley

The Lake Report

The mood was all about perseverance, as NDP candidate Brian Barker and close supporters gathered to watch the election results come in Monday night.

As the results became more clear, Barker addressed his campaign team and family to thank them for their support, and say how proud he is of the work they did in a short time.

The first-time candidate took 12,264 votes in the Niagara Falls riding, the third-highest of all candidates, with 238 of 240 polls reporting.

“If you’re going to do this, you have to go all in, and I did go all in. I gave it everything I have,” said Barker. “We laid the groundwork to do some really cool stuff.”  

The team celebrated with pizza, wings and some cold drinks at D’Vinci’s Pizza in Niagara Falls.

New  Democrat MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) was on hand and said he was proud of what Barker accomplished for the party in his first time running.

“Don’t forget, I ran seven times, and lost seven times,” he said of his own history before being elected as MPP. “It’s about perseverance.”

Campaign manager Quinton Ascah arrived at the event just before Barker, after some  last-minute campaigning.

He said the day was busy, with the group out trying to spread their message to as many people as possible before the polls closed.

“As soon as the polls opened we went out and knocked on doors,” Barker said.

“We’ve had a lot of momentum over the last three weeks, and I think it’s a testament to how Jagmeet Singh has conducted himself on the national stage. He’s someone who leads, he’s smart, compassionate, I think he’s really down to earth and understands people.”

Gates’ assistant Ryan Donnelly said it’s always tough to predict the Niagara Falls riding, with each municipality — Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, and Fort Erie — being so different from one another, and even more diversity within the towns and cities.

All in attendance were in high spirits. As the results became clear that Tony Baldinelli won for the Conservatives, Barker left briefly to congratulate his opponent.

Barker said he “thinks he’ll run again.”

In the meantime, he’s looking forward to spending more time with his kids, now that the business of the campaign is over.