Long after the anti-climatic battle between John Tory and Dalton McGuinty crawled its way to a one-sided conclusion, the fight between the reeling Conservative Leader and Liberal Education Minister Kathleen Wynne for the Toronto riding of Don Valley West was raging on. When the votes were tallied, however, Wynne was claimed victor, capping a remarkable night for the Liberals and a truly forgettable one for Tory and the Conservatives.
Tory now holds the dubious distinction of being the first party leader to lose a seat in 17 years.
Wynne entered the race as a respected education minister who strongly opposed Tory’s ill-fated plan to offer faith-based funding for schools in Ontario. That seemed to be the difference, as polls showed a marked decrease in Conservative backing following Tory’s insistence on faith-based funding.
Despite what the polls were telling him, Tory never apologized for what many considered a potentially career-killing error in judgment.
“Difficult issues are difficult issues,” he said on Tuesday. “And I think some people would conclude that when you have a difficult issue that it can cause people to have strong views and so you just don’t address it. I’m not really made that way.”