Waterloo voters hand NDP’s Fife third term

With the New Democratic Party’s proportion of seats at Queen’s Park reaching its highest level since 1990, perhaps it’s no surprise that one of those seats will be occupied by Catherine Fife.

After all, the voters of Waterloo elected her to office in 2012, knowing she would be part of a third-place party. They did it again in 2014, when the NDP caucus remained small.

As NDP fortunes surged across Ontario on Thursday – though not quite enough to return the party to government – Fife quickly emerged as one of their safest stalwarts.

The party’s critic on a number of high-profile files – including finance for more than two years and LGBTQ issues most recently, Fife is a former public school board trustee. Her work at Queen’s Park has included legislation to give police more powers to investigating missing persons cases and to protect children who suffer concussions while playing sports.

By the end of the night, it became clear that Fife had garnered a majority of the vote.

Her name was on 50.5 per cent of all ballots cast in Waterloo, leaving her with a total of 27,315 votes.

PC candidate Dan Weber finished second with 16,973 votes, followed by Dorothy McCabe of the Libreals with 6,577. Rounding out the ballot were Zdravko Gunjevic, who garnered 2,613 votes for the Green Party, and Libertarian candidate 566, who picked up 566 votes.

“I know that it is disappointing beyond words that Doug Ford is the premier of this province,” Fife told supporters after her victory was secured.

“But I also know that we are going to fight his regressive policies at Queen’s Park.”