David Piccini re-elected as MPP for Northumberland—Peterborough South

·4 min read

Progressive Conservative incumbent David Piccini has been re-elected as MPP for Northumberland—Peterborough South, defeating challengers by a wide margin.

Piccini will serve a second term after receiving 26,209 votes or 50.95 per cent of all votes cast.

Liberal hopeful Jeff Kawzenuk was the runner-up, earning 12,861 votes — 13,348 fewer than Piccini — representing 25 per cent of the overall vote.

New Democrat Kim McArthur-Jackson brought in 6,721 votes (13.07 per cent), Green candidate Lisa Francis netted 2,918 votes (5.67 per cent), the Ontario Party’s Vanessa Head received 1,573 votes (3.06 per cent) and New Blue candidate Joshua Chalhoub earned 1,155 votes (2.25 per cent).

“It’s an honour to represent our community again. We’ve been given a resounding victory here,” said Piccini, who watched the results roll in Thursday night from the Beamish House restaurant in his hometown of Port Hope.

“The people of Ontario sent a message. They want a government that says ‘yes.’ A government that works with them not against them; it doesn’t tax them to death but unlocks the potential and opportunity that is Ontario. So ‘yes’ to the critical infrastructure to expand opportunity, ‘yes’ to keeping costs down, ‘yes’ to building and growing our economy and ‘yes’ to staying open.”

Piccini said he’s excited to continue to work with Premier Doug Ford to “get shovels in ground,” build houses and create jobs for Ontarians.

Piccini was first elected by voters in Northumberland—Peterborough South, which includes Asphodel-Norwood and Otonabee-South Monaghan townships in Peterborough County, in 2018, receiving 27,386 votes (45.32 per cent).

He ousted longtime Liberal incumbent Lou Rinaldi, who held the seat from 2003 to 2011 and again from 2014 to 2018.

Piccini was appointed to Ford’s cabinet as minister of the environment, conservation and parks in June 2021.

Since coming to Queen’s Park four years ago, Piccini said he’s made good on his promise to give a voice to rural communities, including Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Hiawatha First Nation.

“Those communities were left behind and when I got elected, I made a commitment to being present and to listening. Since then, we’ve expanded critical infrastructure for our next generation through expansions to both arenas,” Piccini said.

“We’ve worked to expand internet access so people can work from home, grow their business. We’ve worked with Indigenous communities in partnership with Chief (Laurie) Carr. we’re building roads and bridges, Expanding clean drinking water in that community; expanding their water system. We’re doing so much — economic development in Hiawatha First Nation. We’re working together and that’s why we’ve been re-elected in this riding.

“People remember when rural communities were an afterthought — no longer.”

While disappointed, Kawzenuk applauded Piccini for running an “incredible” campaign.

“The people have spoken,” Kawzenuk told The Examiner.

Kawzenuk credited his team for running a hard-fought campaign and pointed to positives despite the loss.

“We had a set of remarkably good policies. I’d like to think we’re trending in the right direction, but we certainly have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.

Kawzenuk said it’s too early to say whether or not he’ll throw his hat in the next provincial election.

“I will have to do a significant amount of reflecting,” he said.

McArthur-Jackson said she’s disappointed by the outcome — but not necessarily surprised due to the unprecedented times Ontarians have faced over the last two years.

“I think we’re in a position now as we come out of the pandemic still in a recovery mode … with people being afraid of change in a particular moment in time. It’s unfortunate but also kind of understandable,” she said.

“My goal at this point: continuing to advocate. The PC government made a whole lot of promises going into this election and we have to hold their feet to the fire and make sure they keep them.”

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at bburke@metroland.com.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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