Martow heading to Queen’s Park


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Thornhill MPP-elect Gila Martow with PC leader Tim Hudak at her side.

Local optometrist and community advocate Gila Martow is Thornhill’s newest MPP. She was voted in Feb. 13 in a byelection following former Conservative MPP Peter Shurman’s resignation. Martow, also a Conservative, beat out Vaughan councillor and Liberal candidate Sandra Yeung Racco and the New Democratic Party’s Cindy Hackelberg.

Both Yeung Racco and Martow had their advantages going into the race — Yeung Racco’s husband, Mario Racco, was a one-time MPP for the riding, and Martow belonged to the incumbent party. Both are well-known in the community, but Martow said her endorsements may have helped her.

“I had not only the endorsements of Conservatives but from some high-profile people who were Liberal as well,” said Martow. Some of those supporters included former Thornhill Liberal MP Susan Kadis.

“Over the last number of years, I’ve seen first-hand her dedication and commitment to our community,” said Kadis. “Gila is the obvious choice to represent Thornhill and will do an outstanding job.”

With many anticipating a provincial spring election, Martow said she plans on running again. “To me, this is just phase one,” said Martow.

Though she has big goals for her time in Queen’s Park, Martow said she’s going into the job with a dose of realism.

“I wish I could wave a magic wand and make changes, but my party is still in opposition,” she said. However, she does believe strongly in PC leader Tim Hudak and his Million Jobs Act. “Jobs are leaving the province at an alarming rate,” said Martow. “There’s no point in even talking about building new hospitals and improving care for seniors if our economy is tanking.”

Yeung Racco said she’s moving on from the loss. “Sometimes there are forces against you that you have no control over, but we did what we can,” she said. “Winning is one thing, but getting my voice out there is the point.”

But she’s unsure if she’d run again. “I’d like to have a little bit of time to breathe a little before I make that next decision,” said the current councillor.

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