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Liberals sweep Trinity-Spadina

September 9th, 2014 · No Comments

Cressy contemplating running for city council

By Annemarie Brissenden

It was always going to be an uphill battle for Joe Cressy.

As the federal New Democratic Party candidate running to replace Olivia Chow in Trinity-Spadina, he was facing a riding whose changing demographics were lending it an in- creasingly Liberal hue. And that was before Adam Vaughan, a well-known councillor and seasoned journalist, seemingly hand-picked by the young and dynamic Liberal leader, joined the race.

Then, long-standing and much loved MPP Rosario Marchese lost his seat to Liberal candidate Han Dong in the provincial election held only a week before the June 30 by-election.

In the end, after a spring spent knocking on doors and appearing at community events with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair often at his side, Cressy lost.

Vaughan handily defeated him by 6,745 votes, with the rest of the candidates, the Conservative and Green parties included, barely even registering in the results.

But Cressy remains philosophical about the outcome.

“I’m incredibly proud of the campaign we ran,” said Cressy, adding that he loved every minute of it. “We talked about the big issues, but it was not a race we were going to win.”

Acknowledging that his political career is still in its early days, Cressy, who turned 30 on July 10, said Adam Vaughan had earned the win.

“He has served our community for many years, as a councillor and a journalist. He has earned his standing,” explained Cressy, while “I’m still earning [mine].”

He said he regularly encountered that sentiment while canvassing in the neighbourhood.

The Liberals “had a strong candidate in Adam Vaughan, whom people knew and decided to support,” as the Liberal party both federally and provincially reached out to down- town voters.

There was a different strategy at work provincially, he argued, where the “campaign did not target the downtown core on behalf of the NDP,” and Marchese became a casualty of “strong desire [in downtown Toronto] to stop Tim Hudak”.

Cressy, still on leave from the Stephen Lewis Foundation, where he

has worked for the past four years, is readjusting to life after a four-month campaign.

“I’m just back from the cottage, where I was reconnecting with my wife and family, sleep, good food, and a canoe.”

And he’s been doing a lot of thinking, because he has some “big decisions about what to do next.”

One option?

Running municipally to take over the council seat just vacated by Vaughan.

There would be some interesting analogies should he become councillor for Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina.

He wouldn’t just be his competi- tor’s successor but, like Vaughan, he also would be following in the foot- steps of his father. Gordon Cressy spent 12 years in local politics, in- cluding time as a city councillor and chair of the Toronto District School Board.

“I’m getting lots of encouragement in that direction from neighbours, community members, and residents’ associations,” admitted Cressy, who hasn’t made any decisions as yet. “I owe it to my community, my ward, and myself to think about it.”

Subsequent to the writing of this article, Joe Cressy announced his councillor candidacy for Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina.

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