The meaning of Milton.

Watch out Lisa Raitt. The liberals are coming. As conservative MP for Milton electoral district, Lisa Raitt has a long, hard fight ahead of her to try to hold on to the riding this coming Fall. Milton is not only a change riding but it is a win needed to meet liberal hopes for a majority government after October 21.

And if Lisa Raitt had been in that hall in Milton the other day and watched that crowd of more than a thousand there to see the prime minister, she would be worried. Few were her supporters. These people not only showed approval for the liberal prime minister but they also showed the changing demographics of Canada.

This is why Milton was on the schedule for prime minister Trudeau’s series of town hall meetings in warming up for the coming election. With an increase of close to 30,000 new voters since the last election, no party can take Milton for granted.

Raitt can expect little loyalty. Her reputation as a tough politician is well earned but her overreach for the party leadership in 2017 earned her little recognition from the voters. And her connections with the harbour boards of both Toronto and Hamilton identify her as more of an outsider than a local product.

And her liberal opponent, Adam van Koeverden, an Olympic medal winner for Canada, has strong area connections. If he is connecting with the young people in the riding and builds the canvas teams that will be needed, he could have the winning combination.

I can remember doing some canvassing in the area of Milton electoral district that was in the north part of Burlington some 20 years ago when a good friend was the candidate. That part of the riding was mostly new homes at that time but you could still see the farmers’ fields that have been built upon since.

The voters were open and friendly. Canvassing there was fun. You learned a lot if you took the time to listen. While my friend lost to the conservative instincts of the older parts of Halton County at that time, I fully expect the area newcomers will be making the decision this election year.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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