Re-elected NDP MPP Taras Natyshak pledges to work with Liberal majority

 

A victorious Taras Natyshak walks into the Canadian Transportation Museum last Thursday night with wife Jennifer, daughter Airika and son Drake.

A victorious Taras Natyshak walks into the Canadian Transportation Museum last Thursday night with wife Jennifer, daughter Airika and son Drake.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak celebrates with father Boris after the former was re-elected July 12 in the provincial election.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak celebrates with father Boris after the former was re-elected June 12 in the provincial election.

By Ron Giofu

 

It turned out to be a convincing victory for Taras Natyshak in the Ontario election but his NDP party will have to within a Liberal majority provincially.

While Natyshak states he is willing to do that, the now two-term MPP added his party will “have to keep a close eye” on the Liberals as well.

Natyshak (NDP) was re-elected as Essex MPP last Thursday night, winning with an unofficial total of 28,092 votes, or 60.32 per cent of the overall total. The nearest challenger was PC candidate Ray Cecile with 10,178 votes, which amounted to 21.85 per cent. Liberal candidate Crystal Meloche was third with 6,625 votes or 14.22 per cent while Green Party candidate Mark Vercouteren finished fourth with 1,679 votes or 3.61 per cent of the overall total.

Natyshak was declared the winner of the Essex riding roughly 40 minutes after the polls closed.

“It feels pretty good,” he admitted to a throng of enthusiastic supporters at the Canadian Transportation Museum in Essex. “It feels like the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

In addition to thanking family, supporters and his campaign team, Natyshak thanked the voters for overwhelmingly re-electing him. He was first elected in Oct. 2011.

“To the people of this amazing riding who have entrusted me once again to be your voice in the Ontario Legislature, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am honoured you have entrusted me with this responsibility,” said Natyshak. “You sent Tim Hudak on his farewell tour.”

Hudak resigned as PC leader Thursday night after his party was defeated.

Natyshak stated that “we achieved a lot in this riding tonight” and that the NDP has shown there are alternatives to the Liberals and the PC’s. According to the NDP MPP, that alternative does not include wasting taxpayers dollars, understanding the people’s priorities and not firing 100,000 public sector workers.

As for working with a Liberal majority government – with the nearest Liberal MPP now in London – Natyshak said he will be prepared to work with them but said he and his party will be ready to hold them accountable as well.

“I’ll be ready to work within that dynamic,” he said. “I’m ready, willing and able to work with all members of the House, regardless of political stripe.”

Natyshak added he will be watching to see if Premier Kathleen Wynne follows through on reintroducing the budget that was defeated, a budget defeat that resulted in last Thursday’s election.

“It’ll be interesting to see if the premier introduces the so-called progressive budget tailored to New Democrats,” said Natyshak.

Many of the scandals that plagued the Liberals in recent years occurred when the Liberals had a majority, he contended, and emphasized that New Democrats will be watching the government carefully.

Natyshak said he will continue to work hard for the people of the Essex riding and that he was proud to be part of the NDP team headed by Andrea Horwath.

“I think we ran a great campaign,” he said.

Stating he was happy with Horwath and the New Democrat platform, Natyshak believed his leader “held her own” during the campaign.

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of her team and the NDP caucus,” he added.

Despite the Liberals moving from a minority to a majority, he believed the New Democrats still made the correct move in helping to defeat the budget and send Ontario to the polls. He said it was the “right call” and that it was time for the people to have their say. Now that it’s over, Natyshak added he respects the results and “will work within that context.”

Natyshak was one of three NDP MPPs elected in Windsor-Essex County as Percy Hatfield was re-elected in Windsor-Tecumseh and Lisa Gretzky upended Liberal incumbent Teresa Piruzza in Windsor West.

“Tonight we celebrate,” he told supporters. “Tomorrow, we get back to work.”

The Ontario Legislature is slated to resume July 2.

 

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