Bangladeshi-origin NDP candidate Doly Begum handily defeated a former high-ranking Toronto cop and a veteran Liberal MPP in Scarborough Southwest.
Begum, who served as co-chair of the Scarborough Health Coalition and vice-chair of the Warden Woods Community Centre, garnered more than 45 per cent of the votes while Progressive Conservative candidate Gary Ellis, who retired from policing 10 years ago after serving as unit commander of Scarborough’s 42 Division, the homicide squad and various other units, came in second with just over 31 per cent.
Liberal incumbent Lorenzo Berardinetti, who has represented the riding at Queen’s Park since 2003, came in third with just under 19 per cent.
Green candidate David Del Grande, who works in product development for one of the large Canadian banks, came in fourth with 2.64 per cent.
After five municipal, four provincial elections Lorenzo Berardinetti defeated.
Also running and polling under 1 per cent each were Allen Atkinson of the None of the Above Direct Democracy Party, Willie Little of the Party for People with Special Needs, Libertarian candidate James Speirs and Bobby Turley of the Trillium Party.
"I’m going to fight for the people," said Begum, who promised to "have town halls so that we can discuss what’s impacting them" and "to be their voice."
Begum, who came to Canada as a child with her parents and younger brother and has lived in Scarborough most of her life, was the chief coordinator of the province-wide Keep Hydro Public campaign.
"We’re going to continue to fight for it," she said of that campaign. "And the NDP has a promise to make sure that we bring it in public control again, and I think it’s really important to bring that control because then we can have accountability. We can make it affordable for everyone in this province."
Ellis, who has a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Toronto, is head of the justice studies program at University of Guelph-Humber.
Berardinetti, a lawyer, has been a Scarborough politician for 30 years. He served on the former Scarborough City Council and then on Toronto City Council before making the jump to provincial politics in 2003 when he defeated incumbent PC MPP Dan Newman.