Its probably not an easy gig to run in the home riding of the current Premier of Ontario, but this essential task has fallen to a familiar face from Guelph politics. Aisha Jahangir, who ran twice in Guelph for the Federal NDP in the 2019 and 2021 elections, is standing as the NDP candidate in Etobicoke North, the home riding of none other than Doug Ford himself.
“Over the past few years, I have seen first-hand the impact of severe cuts to health care and lack of access to mental health services for many in need. I want to work alongside Andrea Horwath to fix what has been broken by Doug Ford and years of successive Liberal governments,” Jahangir, a mental health nurse at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, said in a statement.
So what are her odds? In 2018, Ford won the riding with 52.48 per cent of the vote. Etobicoke has been the political backyard of the Ford family going back to the late-Rob Ford who was first elected to Toronto City Council from Ward 2 in Etobicoke in 2000. That same seat (albeit redistricted to be Ward 1 under the 2018 boundaries created by the Ontario government) is currently held by Rob and Doug’s nephew, Michael Ford.
As for the provincial district, NDP candidate Mahamud Amin won 25.37 per cent of the vote in 2018, but he had actually lost nearly a full per cent of popular support over the NDP candidate in the 2014 election. In third place was the Liberal incumbent Shafiq Qaadri, who ended his 15 years in the legislature by receiving 18.18 per cent support after famously crashing a rally with NDP leader Andrea Horwath in his riding.
In terms of Jahangir’s own electoral record, she finished in a tough fourth place in Guelph in 2019 with only 12.3 per cent of the vote, but she made up ground in 2021 finishing less that 300 votes behind Conservative candidate Dr. Ashish Sachan with 21.09 per cent.
So is a Guelphite running in the 6ix going to be an issue? The press release from the NDP touts Jahangir’s education at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally Ryerson), but it also touts the issues that people across the issues are thinking about the election, gaps in healthcare and the economy caused by the pandemic, and restoring faith in public services.
“We need a government that can address these problems and restore high-quality health care and expand mental health services,” Jahangir said. “Andrea Horwath and the NDP are the team that can beat Doug Ford and deliver what matters most to the people of Ontario. I am excited to be joining this hardworking team.”