The very early history of Ireland records that the McKennas’ frequently were involved in tribal wars with the McMahons.
Nobody is expecting any blood to be spilled, but the June 7 provincial election rematch between Liberal Eleanor McMahon and Progressive Conservative Jane McKenna in Burlington could go right to the final bell.
Given the high level of discontent with the Liberal government over hydro rates and excessive spending, an early knockout is not being forecast.
In 2014 McMahon became the first non-Progressive Conservative MPP to represent Burlington in 71 years. She earned 43.34 per cent of the vote to McKenna’s 36.96 per cent.
New Democrat Andrew Drummond also is running this time, but in a city with one of the highest average incomes in Canada socialist policies normally are ignored by voters. Also in the race are Vince Fiorito of the Green Party and Libertarian Jim Gilchrist.
McMahon said that in 2014 a lot of progressive voters were confused by what looked like a swing to the right by the NDP and consequently cast their ballots for the Liberals. She also said many voters were punishing NDP leader Andrea Horwath for what she called forcing an election by refusing to support the Liberals’ left-leaning budget, claiming Liberal “corruption” had to be stopped.
In the previous election in 2011, the support for the Liberals and NDP combined surpassed the Progressive Conservatives, so the Tories were ripe for picking.
McMahon, currently the President of Treasury Board in the Kathleen Wynne cabinet, said the Tories have said they will cut the provincial budget by four per cent.
“We all know what that will look like and we’re not interested in it,” she said.
McMahon said her party would rather help Burlingtonians who live below the poverty line.
“These are people we have a moral responsibility to help,” she said.
“We want to fight for what matters most to families – education, health care, care for the elderly and transit.”
McKenna, who served as MPP for Burlington from 2011 to 2014 before losing to McMahon in 2014, said the Liberal government is out of control in its spending habits.
“For the last 15 years it has been a very self-centred government that has no regard for the next generation,” McKenna said.
She said the Liberals are dead-wrong in claiming teachers pensions funds as an asset in their budget, when the government does not have access to them.
Drummond works on large enterprise strategy with a focus on profitable growth and sustainable services for Rogers Communications. He is running for the first time but has been involved in local campaigns for the last 10 years.
“Hydro rates have hit everybody in the community hard,” Drummond said. “There is a nine percent poverty rate across the Region of Halton that also needs to be addressed. It’s just unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, Burlingtonians who live north of the QEW between Walkers Line and Burloak Drive, as well as a small corner east of Guelph Line and north of Upper Middle Road, will be voting in the newly created riding of Oakville North-Burlington.
Alvin Tedjo, director of government relations at Sheridan College in Oakville, is running for the Liberals, Effie Triantafilopoulos for the Progressive Conservatives, Marianne Workman for the Green Party, Charles Zach for the Libertarians and Frank DeLuca for the Trillium Party.
Triantafilopoulos lost to Liberal Pam Damoff in this riding in the 2015 federal election, despite spending more than the other four candidates combined. Triantafilopoulos also lost to Liberal Charles Sousa in the riding of Mississauga South in the 2014 provincial election. Sousa now is Ontario’s Minister of Finance.
In 2014 Tedjo sought a seat on Mississauga city council in Ward 2 but finished third in a field of seven.
At press time, the New Democratic Party had yet to choose a candidate in Oakville North-Burlington.
In the last provincial election this portion of Burlington was in the riding of Halton, which was won by Liberal Indira Naidoo-Harris, now the Minister of Education. She will be running this time in the newly created riding of Milton.