Conservative candidate Jamil Jivani wins Ontario election

Conservative candidate Jamil Jivani celebrated his victory in Durham, Ontario, thanking his allies and attacking his “liberal elite” rivals, who he says are making life harder and more expensive for the working class.

Preliminary results from Elections Canada showed Jivani is poised to take a seat in the House of Commons following Monday’s by-election.

Jivani, a lawyer and commentator, had garnered more than 55 percent of the vote with almost all polls reporting as of Monday night.

Liberal candidate Robert Rock received the second most votes and NDP candidate Chris Borgia came in third.

While Durham is a Conservative stronghold, it is one of the largest margins of victory the Conservatives have had in the last 20 years.

Jivani’s success comes as the Conservatives continue to advance in the polls ahead of the ruling Liberal Party, and as the Conservatives push a message promising to “cut taxes, build homes, fix the budget and stop crime.”

In his victory speech at Chuck’s Roadhouse Bar & Grill in Courtice, Ont., Jivani said his Conservative party will better represent communities’ values ​​in the next federal election, which is due in the fall of 2025. Under the leadership of the Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, the party “will bring changes to this country,” he stated.

“When we talk about what’s happening in the country right now, I think it’s the liberal elites that are betraying the workers of this country, betraying the middle class, betraying the working class,” Jivani said.

Those Liberal elites, Jivani said, include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party, big banks and telecommunications companies who are “driving up the cost of everything.”

Conservative candidate @jamiljivani wins a seat in #Ontario. #CDNPoli #JamilJivani #Durham

He also pointed to Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Ministry of Education. In 2022, Jivani resigned as Ontario’s first Community Opportunities Advocate after raising concerns that some of the Progressive Conservative government’s COVID-19 pandemic policies were having a negative impact on marginalized youth and their parents.

Jivani also criticized other “liberal elites” who he said include activists and academics “who undermine law enforcement and public safety.”

“They are easy to spot,” Jivani charged, telling his followers to be on the lookout for people who are driving “diversity, equity and inclusion” and “environmental, social and governance” initiatives “while increasing the cost of life”. “

“These are the people who signal their virtues and engage in stage shows while their lives become more difficult,” he said.

“And they are people who serve the interests of a privileged few and make you feel like a bad person for expecting our country to work for you, and they are wrong.”

The Durham by-election was held to replace former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who served as official opposition leader from August 2020 to February 2022, and left her seat last spring.

Durham has long been a Conservative stronghold, and a Conservative has represented it for the past 20 years.

The restaurant was packed for Jivani’s victory speech, with his supporters and staff applauding from wall to wall.

Several of their future caucus members were also there to show their support, including Ontario MP Michelle Ferreri, who represents Peterborough-Kawartha, and Ontario MP Colin Carrie, who represents Oshawa.

Poilievre celebrated the victory on X, formerly known as Twitter, congratulating Jivani online.

At the end of his 10-minute speech, someone handed Jivani a wrestling belt. He put it on his shoulder and shouted, “Let’s go!”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2024.

With files from Mickey Djuric in Ottawa.

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