Goldie Ghamari has retained her seat as the Carleton Member of Provincial Parliament.
The Progressive Conservative incumbent had 22,295 votes, which put her in the top 20 in the province for the most votes in the June 2 provincial election. Ottawa Centre NDP incumbent Joel Harden had the most votes in the province, with 30,311. Ghamari was just shy of 10,000 votes ahead of runner-up Tom Dawson. The Osgoode native brought the Liberals to second place in the riding after they placed third in 2018. NDP candidate Kevin St. Denis was third with 7,256 votes; Cody Zulinski of the Green Party was third with 2,537 votes; New Blue Party candidate Rob Stocki was fifth with 1,037 votes; Ethan Ferguson had 494 votes; and Chris Mark Beauchamp had 235 votes.
After the election, Ghamari thanked all of the people who supported her during the campaign. She gave special thanks to her family, and to her campaign advisor, former Rideau Mayor and Rideau-Goulbourn City Councillor Glenn Brooks. She also thanked the tireless efforts of the volunteers on her campaign team. She referred to them as the Team Carleton Loyalists.
“They were door knocking every single day and night and weekend, and getting the job done,” said Ghamari.
She also thanked the people who worked behind the scenes on her campaign.
“It really is a team effort,” she said.
Ghamari reflected on her own journey into politics leading up to the 2018 election. She repeated to many people what she said in 2018. She did not get into politics to be in politics. She got into politics to make a difference in the lives of people in her community.
“I didn’t grow up wanting to be a politician,” she said. “But when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to go for it.”
Ghamari talked about how her parents, Allen and Sara, came to Canada to provide a better life for their family. She was one when she arrived in Canada with her parents.
“They came here so that their one-year-old daughter could have a better life in a better country,” she said. “Growing up, they instilled in my sister and I, the importance of respecting Canada, respecting Canadian beliefs and values, and more importantly giving back to our community and giving back to our society. We want to leave it a little better than when we first started.
“That’s what got me into politics – wanting to make a difference in people’s lives and wanting to help others and help my community.”
Ghamari added that she was “Honoured and humbled” to once again represent Carleton in the provincial legislature.
“I know I still have a lot to learn, but I promise to be a strong voice for everyone in Carleton at Queen’s Park.”
Ghamari then asked her father, Allen, to say a few words. He thanked everyone in the room for their support, and gave special thanks to those who worked hard on the campaign to get her re-elected.
“Goldie is nobody without you,” he told her supporters. “You made Goldie Goldie.” From the bottom of my heart I thank everybody.”
He also shared some of the wisdom he told his daughter.
“I told her that her job is to serve the community. If you make any promises, you have to keep those promises.”
The campaign presented challenges for all candidates. Not only was the four-week window compact, but it was also interrupted as a power outage due to the May 21 storm knocked power out for up to a week in some parts of the riding.
She also had a setback during the campaign when she was bitten by a dog while talking to a constituent. She took it in stride, and it became a campaign battle scar.
Support Across The Riding
Ghamari won the Carleton seat with more than 48 per cent of the vote. She won by wide margins in Manotick, Richmond, North Gower, Kars, Osgoode, Greely, Stittsville and Munster. In Riverside South, Dawson gained some ground for the Liberals. Liberal support in the community was a bit of a surprise considering the work Ghamari has done to secure the building of new schools in that specific community.
Dawson won the election night polls at the Fred Barrett Arena in Leitrim by 70 votes, the Jonathan-Pitre French Catholic School in Riverside South by 11 votes, and at Vimy Ridge Public School in Riverside South by 140 votes. However, Ghamari won the polls at the Rideauview Community centre in Riverside South by 116 votes, and at St. Francis Xavier High School by 40 votes. She was also 199 votes ahead of Dawson in the Riverside South/Leitrim advance polls.
A week before the election, Dawson talked about how the experience of running in the election was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He said he was motivated throughout the campaign by engaging constituents and having conversations at their doorsteps.
The minor Liberal swing in Riverside South is consistent with the party’s popularity east of the Ottawa River. Re-elected MPPs John Fraser (Ottawa South), Stephen Blais (Orleans), Lucille Collard (Ottawa-Vanier) will make up three of the eight Liberals at Queen’s Park this term.
In Ottawa West-Nepean, Progressive Conservative incumbent Jeremy Roberts lost his seat to NDP candidate Chandra Pasma.
In Nepean, Minister Lisa MacLeod, who represented Carleton before the riding was split in 2018, hung on to defeat Liberal challenger Tyler Watt in a closer-than-anticipated race. MacLeod had 17,108 votes, which was 2,006 votes ahead of Watt.
MacLeod was a controversial target for those who opposed her during the campaign. Signs criticizing her for using $44,000 in riding association funds for a housing allowance popped up all over Nepean in the days leading up to the election. While MacLeod did nothing illegal, her opponents questioned the ethics of her acceptance of the money. She was also targeted by parents of autistic children. During the campaign, MacLeod did not take part in any all-candidates meetings. On election night, the media was locked out of her post-election party.
It did not take long on election night to see that the Progressive Conservative Party would win by a majority.
Premier Doug Ford’s party won 83 of the 124 seats at Queen’s Park. The NDP won 29, the Liberals won eight, and the Green Party won one. There was also an independent elected.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the loss suffered by Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca, who lost the seat in his home riding of Vaughn.
Del Duca resigned as the leader of the provincial Liberal party. Shortly thereafter, Andrea Horvath resigned as the leader of the provincial NDP.