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Former Collingwood mayor elected as Simcoe-Grey MPP

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Jun 5th, 2022
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Brian Saunderson addresses a room of supporters at his election party. |

From OrilliaMatters, June 2, 2022
By Erika Engel

Brian Saunderson has been elected as MPP for Simcoe-Grey.

Saunderson took the lead in the riding as soon as results started coming in, with his win evident within 30 minutes of polls closing.

“I guess it’s official, Simcoe-Grey prefers Ford to Crysler,” said Saunderson, referring to the Simcoe-Grey Liberal candidate Ted Crysler.

Saunderson arrived to a room of supporters, announced by campaign manager Don May, where he thanked his campaign team and his family.

“It takes a village to raise a politician,” said Saunderson. “I have big shoes to fill … Jim Wilson did great work in the riding.”

Saunderson’s parents were attending the gathering via Skype call, and his wife and three sons stood at the front while he delivered his victory speech.

He reminisced about “junior caucus” meetings around the family table growing up, and thanked his parents and siblings for encouraging an interest in politics.

“I’m very excited and humbled, and I’m looking forward to getting to Queen’s Park and getting down to business,” said Saunderson. “I imagine the first order of business will be passing the budget.”

The Collingwood resident said he will champion local issues such as the hospital projects in Collingwood and Alliston and a new Banting Memorial High School in Collingwood.

Saunderson will be leaving his seat as mayor before the municipal term is up and before the October 2022 municipal election. He’s been mayor since 2018 and was Collingwood’s deputy mayor from 2014-2018.

“There are some things I would have liked to have finished, but we have made good progress,” said Saunderson.

He said the judicial inquiry was completed and many recommendations implemented, with some he plans to bring to Queen’s Park. The town’s water treatment plant expansion is in the design phase with completion around 2026, and the town’s official plan review is also in motion.

Saunderson said he wants to see the province work overall on affordability, with a short-term focus on housing attainability.

“Attainable housing needs to be addressed from all levels of government,” said Saunderson. “We need to work collaboratively and it’s a short-term priority.”

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Results as of 10:10 p.m.

The Collingwood mayor (currently on leave) pulled ahead in the polls early maintaining about 50-54 per cent of the vote. As of 10:10 p.m., 60 of the 64 polling stations (93 per cent) reported with Saunderson ahead, followed by the local Liberal candidate Ted Crysler.

In the first 60 polls, Saunderson received 24,623 votes and there are 121,996 registered voters in the riding (voter turnout isn’t reported yet).

Crysler has so far received 10,351 votes (22 per cent), followed by NDP candidate Keith Nunn (5,269 votes/ 11%).

Green Party candidate Allan Kuhn has 4,330 votes (9%).

Ontario news agencies declared a PC victory with the NDP keeping the official opposition spot.

Read the article here

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