Election night (Erin Ontario)
Ted Arnott made the following remarks on election night, October 6, 2011, in Erin,
Thank you very much. And thanks to all of you, tomorrow morning, I go back to work on
behalf of the people of Wellington-Halton Hills!
I’ll hope to be there at 9 am. But we’ll need to have the coffee on. Lots and lots of
coffee. Once the adrenaline gives out, I hope the coffee kicks in!
In this election, my sixth as a candidate, we encountered many bumps on the road to
Election Day. Some we expected; others emerged that we didn’t anticipate. But every
step of the way, I was encouraged and sustained by the very best campaign team of
any party in Ontario. All of you!
I want to begin by thanking my family. Lisa, who’s endured 21 years of having to put up
with me, as well as 21 years of my service in the Legislature. Because she teaches
half-time, Lisa spent many afternoons and evenings door-knocking with me…the days
which for me, were the best ones of the campaign.
Jack, Phill, and Dean, all of the boys helped in every way they could, with signs, door-
knocking, and joining me at community events. It was great to see them pitching in, and
I can tell you without exaggeration, that I’m the proudest Dad around. And Lisa’s mom,
Allie McCabe, who made dinner after dinner, did the laundry, ironed my shirts, and kept
the household running while the month of September flew by. I could not do this work
without the love and support of my family. I love you all.
And my staff, Mary, Judy, Marnie, Nancy and Stephen. We have been through the mill
together, over and over again, and as I always want to say: Whatever we accomplish,
we do so as a team. Tonight, we are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve on
behalf of our constituents.
Then, our campaign team. All of you!
Helping out in the offices, planning and organizing our events, putting up our signs on
lawns and all over the countryside (sometimes putting them up again and again and
again!), canvassing in all of our communities and knocking on doors; Helping with
fundraising, attending those “scintillating” all-candidates meetings, scrutineering today
as the ballots were counted.
A provincial election campaign is a massive project, with a tight time frame, in a highly
competitive, almost cut-throat environment. Anyone who hasn’t been involved in
organizing one has no idea of the scale of the work that must be done, or the
Figuratively speaking, it’s like walking though a swamp with sink holes you can’t see,
over and over, for 29 straight days, while carrying an anvil. And with poachers firing pellet guns at you the whole time, just to make it a bit more interesting.
I could never do it alone.
Bill and Carol Baxter were with us every step of the way. No matter what came up, they
were cheerful, kind, smart, enthusiastic, positive, and extremely well-organized.
Optimism brings with it success in election campaigns, and their optimistic leadership
gave us the success we celebrate tonight. What a fabulous team they are! Thank you
Bill and Carol!
Al and Diane Alls were magnificent in helping us organize their part of Wellington
County, and reaching out to help in every way possible in the other parts of the Riding.
Through their outstanding efforts, we had fabulous impact, which brought our PC vote
to the polls. Thank you Al and Diane!
And John and Mary Duncan did the same in the Halton Hills half of the Riding. We had
a special challenge in Georgetown, and they assembled a dedicated local team who
worked their hearts out to engage every voter who was open to our message of hope
and trust. Thank you John and Mary!
I also want to extend special thanks to our Riding Association President Glenna Smith
and her husband Doug; our CFO Bill Nelson and his wife Lee; and our Halton Hills
Office Manager Keith Wellstead and his wife Bettyanne. Your friendship, devotion,
years and years of unwavering support are one of the well springs of my energy. And
your active and dedicated work in campaign after campaign represents the very best of
our communities, and the very best of the PC Party of Ontario. Thank you all so very
And my friends and colleagues Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and the Honourable
Michael Chong, who do such a fantastic job in service to our mutual constituents. I want
to thank them as well.
What do we make of the result tonight across the province? Clearly the change we
believe that Ontario needs will come one step at a time. While our message resonated
with many, it was not seen as the answer in enough Ridings to put us over the top. So
we take it one step at a time. And we plan for next time.
But let there be no recrimination against those who worked against us in recent weeks.
Our democracy rests on many pillars. And our democracy is not strengthened when
election campaigns never end, nor is it strengthened when politicians put their own
interests ahead of the peoples’ interest.
The people have spoken. The election is over.
Now we must reach out to our opponents as well as those who supported them, and offer to work with them, in the interest of everyone in Ontario. Now we must roll up our
sleeves and get back to work on behalf of the people of Ontario.
I want to congratulate Dale Hamilton and Moya Johnson for being passionate voices for
their respective parties. They deserve acknowledgment for their hard work, tireless
efforts, and willingness to carry their party banners. And I’d also like to recognize
While we may disagree with their political ideas and philosophies, we can respect them
as individuals, and thank them for their commitment to public service.
So tonight, we celebrate, not just our victory in Wellington-Halton Hills, but a democracy
and a way of life that others around the world are still working hard to achieve, and our
willingness to reach across the party divide, to work together to seek the promise of the
Thank you again for all your help, and God bless you all.