by Alicia Ferroro, Centennial Journalism
Kevin Gaudet has come in second behind the Liberal party in the Pickering-Scarborough East riding in Thursday’s provincial election.
Gaudet got a total of 12,660 votes, accounting for 33.2 per cent of the votes in the riding. Tracy MacCharles, the Liberal party candidate beat Gaudet by 5,069 votes. She received 46.6 per cent of the votes.
The celebration was at his campaign office in Pickering. There was free food and an open bar. The food was buffet style with small snacks, including little sandwiches. A lot of people were there to support Gaudet. The decorations were elegant with round tables placed around the room, each with a flower centerpiece. Despite the loss, the atmosphere was very upbeat, with a band performing in the background.
“This isn’t my home but it felt like my home in great part thanks to how you welcomed me in here and I felt I became part of the community,” Gaudet said in a speech after the votes were counted.
If elected, Gaudet, as the former federal and Ontario director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, had pledged to reduce taxes. He said in an interview earlier this month that the tax relief amounts to $3.5 billion dollars over the next four years.
Gaudet, 43, also thanked all of his campaign members and his family, including his wife, Maki, and his three children. They celebrate their wedding anniversary on Friday. Tears came to his eyes when thanking his family.
“I can’t say enough about how great a campaign we all ran,” Gaudet said. (Listen to his speech here.)
“I used to both play high school football and rugby. Then I went on to be a football coach. One of the things we were told was … we need to leave it all out on the field and I am so proud of the work we all did,” he said.
According to the Conservative party’s “Changebook,” they wanted to increase spending on education and health care. The Conservative party also had a jobs plan. They wanted to start a Small Business Bill of Rights to help the relationship between the business owner and government. The plans also included creating more than 200,000 apprenticeship spaces in Ontario. Gaudet has said that the first thing on their list would have been the tax relief on home energy bills.
Gaudet also thinks the pollution at Rouge Beach is a problem that needs to be fixed. In his speech after the election he described a recent conversation with MacCharles ,where he asked her to act on that priority.
“I did suggest to her if she’d steal any of my ideas, the Rouge needs to be cleaned up,” he said.
Gaudet plans to enjoy his anniversary with his wife and does not know what the future holds for him.