As results from polls across Parry Sound-Muskoka rolled in on election night, the mood was jubilant at Deerhurst Resort where supporters of Conservative candidate Scott Aitchison had gathered.
By the end of the evening, Aitchison had garnered more than 40 per cent of the riding’s vote.
“I’m excited,” he told Huntsville Doppler. “I’m humbled and overwhelmed. There’s so many people that helped make this happen…and it just doesn’t happen without all those people who commit to work with you and put their faith in you and believe in you and that’s a humbling experience as well. I’m really moved by the support and I’m honoured by the fact that the people of Parry Sound-Muskoka have put their faith in me and they’re going to give me a try and see how I do. I want to get to work and prove to them that I’m worthy of their trust.”
Aitchison said that housing, an issue he focused on while Huntsville Mayor, will remain his top priority in Ottawa.
“The Liberal government has said they want to spend billions of dollars on housing, I want to obviously be a part of any discussion,” he said. “The specific program that I talked a lot about during the campaign was the capital subsidy program. It was a remarkably effective program, which started in the Chrétien government… It will get housing built fast, it’ll be done efficiently, it won’t cost them as much money, and it will also generate property tax revenue for the local municipalities to provide the services that people need. It’s a win-win-win. I’ve got a lot of experience on committees and hopefully I can steer things a little bit in what I think is common sense approaches to problems that we face not just in Parry Sound-Muskoka, but all over the country.”
Aitchison added that with the Liberals forming government, “it speaks to the importance of making sure that our Member of Parliament is a vocal person that’s making sure that we get our fair share of programs that are there to support people in need. I’ve seen it in a provincial level when dealing with municipalities and I’ve certainly seen it at the federal level where, you know, policymakers forget that we don’t all live in the GTA. And so I’m going to make sure that they know we’re here.”
And to those in the riding who voted for other candidates and might feel their voice won’t be heard, Aitchison said, “I’m going to prove you’re wrong…This is the way I’ve always operated in public life. You will always be heard. Some people may change my mind on things, but we won’t always agree. But I will work hard for every single person in this riding. That’s the job and that’s what I signed up to do. I’m not just going to be some kind of a parrot for the party here in Parry Sound-Muskoka. I’m going to Ottawa to fight for Parry Sound-Muskoka. I’m going to work for everybody and I’m going to prove that to everybody.”
Watch Aitchison’s closing remarks to his supporters below:
The unofficial Parry Sound-Muskoka results at time of publication, with 230 of 232 polls reporting, were:
Scott Aitchison (Conservative) – 21,728 votes (41.8 per cent)
Trisha Cowie (Liberal) – 15,716 votes (30.2 per cent)
Gord Miller (Green) – 7,965 votes (15.3 per cent)
Tom Young (NDP) – 6,219 votes (12.0 per cent)
Daniel Predie (independent) – 365 votes (0.7 per cent)
Watch Liberal candidate Trisha Cowie’s remarks to her supporters below:
Cowie quietly stopped by Deerhurst Resort at the end of the night to offer her congratulations to Aitchison.
On his Facebook page, Green candidate Gord Miller thanked his supporters: “A big thank you to all my volunteers, supporters and campaign team. It has been a pleasure to run in this election for Parry Sound-Muskoka and I’m very grateful to everyone who contributed in one way or another.”
NDP candidate Tom Young chose to post his thanks to Facebook on the morning of election day: “A few months ago I was told ‘Its a lot of work Tom are you ready?’ Wow they werent kidding, but theres no way I could have done this without the fantastic team I have… To all the constituents of Parry Sound, Muskoka, I am who I am a plain and simple Muskoka boy. I really am genuine, all I want to do is make a difference for each and everyone of you. Thank you for listening to me over the last month or so, at the door, at debates and on social media.”
As the MP-elect for Parry Sound-Muskoka, Aitchison will now officially leave his former position as Huntsville’s mayor—he had taken a leave of absence to campaign. Huntsville Council will be required to declare the position of mayor as vacant at its next meeting on October 28 and will then have 60 days to decide whether to fill the position by appointment or via a byelection.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!