(Photos: Nicky Roche/QEW South Post)
BY KELLY ROCHE
Mississauga-Lakeshore is officially red again.
Conservative incumbent Stella Ambler was ousted by Liberal candidate Sven Spengemann, who cruised to victory Monday — one of many ridings reclaimed in a stunning Liberal majority win.
“We’ve all worked so hard. You know, sometimes I always say, politics is a tough business … and tonight’s the night when we find that out for sure,” said Ambler, conceding to Spengemann.
“He’s going to find, as I did, that it’s truly an honour to serve as a Member of Parliament for this great country of ours.”
Justin Trudeau is Canada’s next Prime Minister – scoring more than 180 seats – with the Conservatives replacing the New Democratic Party as the official opposition.
The NDP, led by Thomas Mulcair, now has third-party status.
“I think the people of Canada have chosen and I think, as Canadians, we have to accept that, that we have a new government, a Liberal government,” said Ambler.
“Canadians, I guess, decided that they wanted to take a different direction, and the desire for change was great, and we felt it right here in Mississauga as well.”
Ambler’s supporters at the Port Credit Royal Canadian Legion Branch were subdued at best.
A short drive east on Lakeshore, Spengemann’s victory bash at the Army Navy & Airforce Veterans Club was jubilant.
Spengemann said he felt ‘amazing.’
“It all came together in one night. It was a vision for real change across the country, but more importantly, here locally. We just connected and the people responded,” said Spengemann, a Harvard University graduate and lawyer who served as a United Nations official in Baghdad.
The riding was dominated by Liberals until 2011, when Ambler came into office.
The well-connected Ambler, whose links run deep with the Tories, worked with former finance minister Jim Flaherty and co-owned a family insurance business before entering politics.
Liberal MP Paul Szabo represented the area, formerly known as Mississauga South, from 1993 until 2011.
Szabo didn’t endorse Spengemann – who admittedly broke election spending laws to win the Liberal nomination.
Early results showed Spengemann leading with 49 per cent of the vote, and Ambler trailing at 39 per cent.
NDP candidate Eric Guerbilsky was a distant third at 9 per cent, followed by Ariana Burgener from the Green Party with 2 per cent.
Sven Spengemann (Liberal): 48%
Stella Ambler (Conservative): 40%
Eric Guerbilsky (NDP): 9%
Ariana Burgener (Green): 2%
Dagmar Sullivan (Marxist-Leninist): 0.6%
Paul Woodworth (Libertarian): 0.2%