NDP’s Natyshak finishes in a strong second

By Jason Viau

May 2 will forever be a day of sadness and defeat for Essex NDP candidate Taras Natyshak after losing the race to Parliament Hill and his mentor Pat Hayes.

Natyshak was unable to triumph over Essex Conservative incumbent Jeff Watson because, he says, Essex is a difficult riding for any political party to conquer. Despite the loss he said his campaign was a success and he’s made great strides in comparison to past elections.

Taras Natyshak is all smiles as he thanks his supporters for their work during the 2011 election

In the 2008 election Nadyshak had a 27 per cent voter share which increased to 35 per cent this year. He attributes his increased popularity to his solid and honest campaign.

“We stayed away from the nastiness, we stayed away from the hyper partisanship and we focused on the issues that we know were of concern for the large majority of people here in this riding,” said Nadyshak.

Pensions, jobs and health care are Natyshak’s core issues he based his campaign around. He said he’s hopeful and optimistic that with a majority Conservative government and an official NDP opposition these concerns will remain at the forefront of Canadians.

“We work towards working for people again. You never give up. Its indicative of tonight’s national support for the NDP. That’s historic in itself,” said Natyshak.

Pat Hayes, who died of lung cancer at the age of 68 on May 2, was a former Essex North MPP and Natyshak’s long-time friend and mentor. Both families have a deep history together with supporting each other’s political endeavors.

“He was a strong voice for those who didn’t have a voice for themselves,” said Natyshak

“He taught me that people may not agree with what you say but they will respect the fact that you have the guts to say it. That’s how I’ve lead my campaigns and will continue to do if given the opportunity.”

Natyshak said in order for him to announce his fourth candidacy in the next federal election under the New Democrats he must be first nominated and approved within his party, adding that his friends and family play a vital role in his decision.

“If all of those things fall into place again I will consider it,” said Natyshak.

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