Philpott defeats Calandra on election day

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Among the many political upsets at the local level in the Liberals’ sweeping victory in the October 19, 2015, federal election is Liberal Jane Philpott’s defeat of Conservative Paul Calandra in the Markham-Stouffville riding of Ontario. Philpott, a medical doctor for 31 years, is a member of Community Mennonite Church in Stouffville. “My dream has come true tonight,” the newly elected MP told a crowd of 200-plus who packed into the Lebovic Centre for Arts and Entertainment. She told the Stouffville Sun-Tribune that within 100 days a meeting between federal Liberals and provincial premiers is expected to occur at which time the topics for discussion will be the environment, economy and health care. In the final vote tally on Oct. 19, Philpott garnered a total of 29,417 votes over Calandra’s 25,563, a margin of 3,854 votes. Calandra has held the MP seat for the Conservatives since 2008. He was a loyal partisan for his party, especially in defence matters, running interference with Arnold-Neufeldt-Fast, a Mennonite theology professor at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto and also a member of Community Mennonite, when Neufeld-Fast tried to raise awareness during the War of 1812 celebrations that Stouffville was settled by Mennonites and should be recognized as such in the celebrations. In a Nov. 10, 2014, interview with Canadian Mennonite, Philpott said: “Having listened to people as a doctor as to health factors determined by education, employment and income, I believe I can accomplish the most good by influencing public policy through political leadership.”

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