By Cortney Cook,
Centennial Journalism joint program with U of T
Once the polls had closed Thursday night, Progressive Conservative candidate for Scarborough Centre Carol Williams walked into her campaign office on McCowan Road.
The first words she spoke were,“ I do not want to see any tears.” Listen to her interview here.
Despite the fact she lost her first campaign to Liberal Brad Duguid, and the fact that Dalton McGuinty won for the third time in a row as premier of Ontario, Williams was still met with roaring, and joyous cheers from all her supporters and volunteers.
Williams, 59, was very enthusiastic to be representing the Scarborough Centre area. Her passion for public service comes from her extensive background working in education, and previously as a child and youth worker. She has a masters in educational administration from the University of Toronto, and began her teaching career at St. Thomas Shrine in Scarborough as a special education teacher. She then moved on to become vice-principal of Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School, and then principal of St. Brother Andre CHS in Markham. Williams also recently ran for TCDSB trustee, but she did not win.
After being congratulated by Tim Hudak as the PC party’s official candidate for Scarborough Centre back in February, the single-mother from Trinidad stressed that some of her primary goals involved working on relief for families, getting the government focused on the basics, and making private sector job creation a priority.
Williams felt her extensive background in education would be a great asset to her campaign.
“I think one of the key things about being an administrator and being a principal is that you have to represent the concerns of parents, students, and teachers in your community. And you have to make sure the voice of your community is well heard. My key gift here is to listen to my constituents and echo their concerns at the table,” Williams said during an interview before the election.
When focusing on tackling some of the key issues that were at hand, Williams supported Hudak’s plans to create a better Ontario with more jobs, give relief for families from the HST, and relief in tuition fees for Ontario students.
“It’s looking at what’s happening now, and redirecting where there’s waste, keeping what works, and getting rid of what doesn’t,” Williams said.
“Not all problems are solved by throwing money at it. Sometimes you have to look and reorganize some things and re-shift some models a different way,” she added.
The majority of voters felt that Hudak’s plans were not the way to go. The final results of the polls had the Liberals come out on top with 53 seats, the PC party won 37 seats, and the NDP received 17. The Liberals were just one seat shy of a majority government. For the Scarborough Centre riding, Duguid won with 51.3 per cent of votes, Williams came in second with 24.2 per cent of votes, and NDP finished in third with 21.7 per cent of votes.
For a moment, when it became clear she had lost, there was an air of disappointment in Williams’ campaign office. However, when she walked into the room, she only had words of optimism for her supporters.
“I put my very best effort forward, and I know we did this all as a collective effort,” Williams told her supporters.
“This was a joyful campaign and we have nothing to be upset about. We will get it next time,” she added.
So, while it may have been a disappointing first-run, Williams had no complaints. More importantly, she enjoyed the experience.
“The best part of it was I have made friends for the rest of my life. And that’s what I’m going to take away from this, the friendships that I have made throughout this campaign,” Williams said after her speech to her supporters.
When asked if she was planning to run again, Williams said she was unsure about her political future. She concluded that she was going to give it some thought and come to a decision after a few weeks of reflection. However, she was still certain that in some way or another, she will be working with Ontario families in the future.