TORONTO - The electoral district of Vaughan-Woodbridge is located along the south western edge of York Region. It was created by the 2012 electoral boundaries redistribution and encompasses the neighbourhood of Woodbridge and part of the City of Vaughan.
The constituency is home to the highest concentration of Italian Canadians in Canada. With an area population of 105,228 residents (2016 Census), more than half – 55,960 residents - identify as Italian. That represents 53% of the area’s population.
Francesco Sorbara, current MP, is seeking re-election for the Liberals. He has represented the riding since 2015 when he was supported by 48.9% of voters. In 2019, he was re-elected with 51.3% of the vote. The Conservative candidate, Teresa Kruze, took 36.3% of the vote, followed by the NDP candidate Peter DeVita at 7.8%.
This time around, Sorbara is up against Conservative candidate Angela Panacci, who was unavailable for comment prior to our going to print. DeVita aims to garner more support for the NDP.
A strong environmentalist, DeVita told the Corriere, “Vaughan-Woodbridge must prepare itself to adapt to climate change and the required response to Net Zero actions”. In addition to the concerns over the speed of response to the pandemic and the response to the climate crisis, he also acknowledges that constituents “need help with the housing crisis”.
Affordability is a constant mantra throughout the election campaign. As local representative for the riding, Sorbara said: “Our government has delivered in making life more affordable for all residents”.
“For families, we introduced the Canada Child Benefit which has delivered thousands of dollars in the community. For seniors, we lowered the age eligibility for Old Age Security pension from 67 to 65 years old and boosted the amount they receive. For commuters, we have invested a record amount into infrastructure to upgrade roads and transit connections...such as the Yonge North subway extension”, he said.
Rounding out the field of candidates are Muhammad Hassan Khan for the Greens and Mario Greco for the PPC.
According to the latest projections by 338Canada.com (September 15), which uses algorithms that take into account results of all major polls, the Liberals, at 44%, are ahead of the Conservatives by 8-points. The NDP, at 8.9%, trail the Conservatives by 27-points.
P. Pajdo is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter