TORONTO - Created in 2012, Markham– Stouffville is a provincial electoral district that is part of the Regional Municipality of York. The riding encompasses the town of Whitchurch–Stouffville and the eastern portion of the Town of Markham, one of the most diverse communities in Canada.
The area is a popular destination for immigrants, with some of the largest populations born in China and East India. In terms of European settlers, 10,375 residents self-identify as Italian Canadian, as per the 2016 Census (most recent data available). At 8% of the district’s population, they are one of the largest ethnic groups who originate from Europe.
Incumbent Paul Calandra, a former Member of Parliament, seeks re-election as MPP for Markham-Stouffville. He has represented the riding since his victory in the 2018 election when he won with 48% support of the electorate (25,912 votes). Calandra defeated then Liberal candidate Helena Jaczek, who took 26% of the vote. The PC’s margin of victory was 11,905 votes.
When asked how he intends to gain more support among the electorate, Calandra pointed to his Party’s five-pillar plan which aims to “rebuild Ontario’s economy, continue working for workers, build highways and key infrastructure, keep costs down for Ontario workers and families, and keep Ontario open”.
Meanwhile, the Liberals are aiming to boost support for the Party with candidate Kelly Dunn. She was not available for comment prior to our going to print.
This is the second time Calandra will face off with NDP candidate Kingsley Kwok in a general election. When contacted, Kwok responded with his Party’s platform that proposes a “four-year income tax freeze for low-and middle-income households” and priorities to “make more affordable housing, address the underfunding in education and the understaffing in health care”.
According to the latest projections by 338Canada.com (May 8), the PC maintain the lead at 41%. The prediction model uses algorithms that considers all major polls. It shows the Liberals at 39% followed by the NDP at 13%.
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P. Pajdo is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter