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Saturday, July 2, 2022
Election ’22: NDP’s Gates handily defeats Gale amid Tory majority sweep

Doug Ford’s PCs coast to another victory; Gale says he’s retiring from politics


The people have spoken.

New Democrat Wayne Gates has won another four years as the MPP for the Niagara Falls riding, which includes Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie.

Progressive Conservative candidate Bob Gale trailed Gates by some 4,000 votes before the first hour of the count was done Thursday night. Gale conceded the election at 9:45 p.m.

Later, with all 78 polls reporting, Gates had 24,608 votes (48 per cent) to Gale’s 18,662 (36 per cent). The winning margin was 5,946 votes, according to Elections Ontario.

Gates arrived to a cheering crowd of supporters at Ruth’s Chris Steak House at about 10 p.m.

He started his victory speech by thanking his campaign volunteers and staff.

“I saw close to 200 volunteers that were out today, giving up your time — you could have been anywhere today — but you had a lot of faith in what we’re trying to do here to make a better life for all of us,” he said.

“Some people said we couldn’t do it. I think they were wrong.

Gale and a small crowd were gathered in a Niagara Falls residence to cheer on the candidate.

“I was surprised that we got the results that quickly. I was told it might be 12 or 1 o’clock,” Gale said.

“Hopefully Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls riding can be represented by Wayne and we’ll achieve the new hospital and other items that have come up.”

Gale announced he does not plan to run again and in fact will retire from politics once his term as regional councillor for Niagara Falls ends this fall.

In an interview with The Lake Report shortly after conceding, Gale said the only difficult part of the election was losing but that he found a lot of personal satisfaction in the process.

“I enjoyed door-knocking. I really enjoyed going house to house in the riding and that’s not fake. I have the gift of talking to a lot of people and I met a lot of great people here,” he said.

And it wasn’t simply the joy of engaging with voters that Gale found rewarding. The long days of walking from house to house provided their own benefit.

“I’m healthier than I’ve been in years. I’ve lost 25 pounds,” Gale said.

“Last September I would go door knocking and then I’d end up at a fast-food joint after. I stopped that, I’ve been eating healthy. So, from that standpoint it was a plus for me.”

“The only negative was losing but there’s always more losers than winners in these things.”

Gale had some advice for Gates.

“Their party should be focused on not complaining as much and working together with the PCs because the PCs have a majority. Try not to complain. Work with them,” he said.