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Marchese loses to Liberals

August 14th, 2014 · No Comments

Long serving Trinity-Spadina MPP Rosario Marchese plans to retire from politics. He is pictured here standing in front of the Ontario Legislature in June 2007.

New MPP, Han Dong, has lived in Trinity-Spadina for 13 years

By Brian Burchell and Annemarie Brissenden

In an unexpected upset, long-standing NDP Member of Provincial Parliament Rosario Marchese lost his seat to Han Dong in the June 12 provincial election.

“It’s been an honour to represent Trinity-Spadina for 24 great years as your MPP,” said Marchese via his Twitter feed the following day. “Thank you! Congratulations to @VoteHanDong on his election.”

Dong, a relative newcomer who ran on behalf of the provincial Liberal party, helped Premier Kathleen Wynne form a majority government by capturing 24,812 votes compared to the 16,380 won by Marchese. Trailing well behind were the Progressive Conservative candidate Roberta Scott with 7,522 votes, and Green Party candidate Tim Grant, who received 3,776 votes.

Marchese has represented the riding since 1999, and is widely respected as a hard-working veteran of provincial politics. He has been active in his opposition to the Ontario Muncipal Board’s conduct in local planning decision appeals, opposed the plan for jets landing at the Billy Bishop Airport, and has promoted reforms to the Condominium Act.

Social media lit up with commentary as soon as the stunning upset hit the airwaves.

“Very sorry to see Rosario Marchese defeated in Trinity-Spadina. We need Condo act reform. Current act loaded to developers,” said Daniel of @DanFmTo, while Aly Pang of @AlyPang posted, “I hope Rosario Marchese doesn’t take the loss personally. I just couldn’t vote for Horwath and her opportunism.” Laurie Miller of @mill333 echoed many posters when she tweeted, “Thank [you] Rosario Marchese for all your years of service.”

The day after the election, Dong also honoured his predecessor by tweeting out: “Thank u @RMarcheseNDP 4 serving our community last 24 yrs. Hope to meet soon 2 share ur experience & advice to better serve.”

Dong, 37, brings a different perspective to the riding that he has lived in for over 13 years.

He was 13 when he arrived in Toronto with his family from Mainland China, and attended high school at Jarvis Collegiate Institute before going on to study economics and political science at the University of Toronto.

In the community, Han Dong has served as a key advisor to the Canada Shanghai Business Association, and volunteered with the Philippine Independence Day Council, the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival, as well as numerous Trinity-Spadina seniors’ resource centres.

Before his involvement in government, Han was a marketing director for Chianti Foods, where he was responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of all of its marketing strategies, communications, and public relations activities.

Han and his partner Sophie are raising their children in Trinity-Spadina, where they attend local public schools.

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