Sweet rides 'positive' Tory message to ADFW victory

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The high road was the path to victory for Conservative candidate David Sweet, who feels it was his party's "positive, ideas-based campaign," which led to his victory in Monday night's election.

"The people have said 'no' to a campaign of fear, and 'yes' to a bright new day for Canada," said Sweet, to a boisterous crowd at his victory party at the Waterdown Legion.

Sweet won by 2,893 votes over Liberal incumbent Russ Powers, earning 24,523 ballots, or 39.1 per cent of the vote, compared to Powers's 21,630 votes or 34.5 per cent. NDP candidate Gordon Guyatt won 13,359 of the riding's 62,693 votes and Green candidate David Januczkowski earned 2,768, while Marxist-Leninist Jamil Ghaddar pulled in 111 votes and Independent Ben Cowie earned 302.

Sweet won nearly every poll in Flamborough, won the majority of Ancaster support, and picked up some surprise votes in Dundas and Westdale to take the win.

Roughly 150 cheering supporters and volunteers gathered at the Waterdown Legion to welcome the newly- elected member of Parliament, who had a long list of cherished friends and advisors to thank - not the least of which were his children, who've given up more than just Dad-time during the last eight weeks.

"They love me despite the fact that I'm the primary cook in our family, so they went without lots of dinners throughout the campaign," he joked. "I don't know what they'll do now."

The celebration was the culmination of a grueling eight-week campaign, and an 18-hour election day for Sweet. But the effort of the cold-weather campaign was well worth the sacrifice, as reception at the doors continued to warm.

"It definitely felt different this time," said Sweet's campaign chair, Dan Muys. "There was a positive energy. There was a good mood out there."

That's a stark contrast to the 2004 election, when Liberal ads alleging a scary "hidden agenda," knocked the wind from many Conservative campaigns across Ontario heading into the home stretch.

"We had the opposite feeling this time, right from the first week in January," said Muys.

Sweet's campaign was a reflection of the mood nation-wide, noted campaign organizer, Ray Pennings.

"Canada's had enough of scandal," he said. "They want integrity in government, and now they're going to get it."

Although the campaign is over, Sweet's work has just begun. He's eager to get to Parliament Hill, and feels Prime Minister elect Stephen Harper will be able to enact legislation and hold off a snap election by building bridges between the parties, despite his tenuous hold on power.

"He's already demonstrated he's a coalition-builder," said Sweet. "We're going to work issue by issue to bring people together. We'll work with whoever we need to, to make this a better country."

Sweet's first action as MP will be to meet with his provincial and municipal counterparts to determine what Hamilton hopes to get from the federal government.

"I'm ready to listen, and ready to learn," he said.

Although he feels his party's priorities of healthcare, childcare, crime, tax breaks and accountability are at the top of all Canadians' minds, Hamilton faces several unique challenges. Agriculture issues are prevalent in the largely rural riding. The Liberals have created a sweeping one-size-fits-all solution to agriculture, which doesn't solve anything, charged Sweet.

"Our farmers are in serious trouble," he said.

The fiscal imbalance to Hamilton is another issue he hopes to pursue. Money owing to the struggling city has reached $1 billion, according to Hamilton mayor Larry Di Ianni. If correct, that shortfall requires immediate attention, said Sweet.

Manufacturing and inner-city issues are also at the forefront of the agenda, he said.

But what isn't a priority are social issues. Sweet has come under fire throughout the campaign for what his opponents claim are socially conservative values. Although a free vote to settle the issue of same sex marriage is in his party's platform, it isn't one of the top five priorities, he said.

Sweet's membership in the Promise Keepers organization also came under fire, through Liberal press releases circulating quotes from a Christian publication, in which he referred to women as "natural followers." Sweet maintains the quote was taken out of context, and Muys feels voters saw through the negative campaign.

"Obviously, that didn't have an impact," he said. "There was a lot of mud flung his way during the campaign, smears and quotes taken out of context.

"But I think the voters saw through all of that," he added. "Now, they can judge him for what he does, as their MP."

Sweet rides 'positive' Tory message to ADFW victory

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The high road was the path to victory for Conservative candidate David Sweet, who feels it was his party's "positive, ideas-based campaign," which led to his victory in Monday night's election.

"The people have said 'no' to a campaign of fear, and 'yes' to a bright new day for Canada," said Sweet, to a boisterous crowd at his victory party at the Waterdown Legion.

Sweet won by 2,893 votes over Liberal incumbent Russ Powers, earning 24,523 ballots, or 39.1 per cent of the vote, compared to Powers's 21,630 votes or 34.5 per cent. NDP candidate Gordon Guyatt won 13,359 of the riding's 62,693 votes and Green candidate David Januczkowski earned 2,768, while Marxist-Leninist Jamil Ghaddar pulled in 111 votes and Independent Ben Cowie earned 302.

Sweet won nearly every poll in Flamborough, won the majority of Ancaster support, and picked up some surprise votes in Dundas and Westdale to take the win.

Roughly 150 cheering supporters and volunteers gathered at the Waterdown Legion to welcome the newly- elected member of Parliament, who had a long list of cherished friends and advisors to thank - not the least of which were his children, who've given up more than just Dad-time during the last eight weeks.

"They love me despite the fact that I'm the primary cook in our family, so they went without lots of dinners throughout the campaign," he joked. "I don't know what they'll do now."

The celebration was the culmination of a grueling eight-week campaign, and an 18-hour election day for Sweet. But the effort of the cold-weather campaign was well worth the sacrifice, as reception at the doors continued to warm.

"It definitely felt different this time," said Sweet's campaign chair, Dan Muys. "There was a positive energy. There was a good mood out there."

That's a stark contrast to the 2004 election, when Liberal ads alleging a scary "hidden agenda," knocked the wind from many Conservative campaigns across Ontario heading into the home stretch.

"We had the opposite feeling this time, right from the first week in January," said Muys.

Sweet's campaign was a reflection of the mood nation-wide, noted campaign organizer, Ray Pennings.

"Canada's had enough of scandal," he said. "They want integrity in government, and now they're going to get it."

Although the campaign is over, Sweet's work has just begun. He's eager to get to Parliament Hill, and feels Prime Minister elect Stephen Harper will be able to enact legislation and hold off a snap election by building bridges between the parties, despite his tenuous hold on power.

"He's already demonstrated he's a coalition-builder," said Sweet. "We're going to work issue by issue to bring people together. We'll work with whoever we need to, to make this a better country."

Sweet's first action as MP will be to meet with his provincial and municipal counterparts to determine what Hamilton hopes to get from the federal government.

"I'm ready to listen, and ready to learn," he said.

Although he feels his party's priorities of healthcare, childcare, crime, tax breaks and accountability are at the top of all Canadians' minds, Hamilton faces several unique challenges. Agriculture issues are prevalent in the largely rural riding. The Liberals have created a sweeping one-size-fits-all solution to agriculture, which doesn't solve anything, charged Sweet.

"Our farmers are in serious trouble," he said.

The fiscal imbalance to Hamilton is another issue he hopes to pursue. Money owing to the struggling city has reached $1 billion, according to Hamilton mayor Larry Di Ianni. If correct, that shortfall requires immediate attention, said Sweet.

Manufacturing and inner-city issues are also at the forefront of the agenda, he said.

But what isn't a priority are social issues. Sweet has come under fire throughout the campaign for what his opponents claim are socially conservative values. Although a free vote to settle the issue of same sex marriage is in his party's platform, it isn't one of the top five priorities, he said.

Sweet's membership in the Promise Keepers organization also came under fire, through Liberal press releases circulating quotes from a Christian publication, in which he referred to women as "natural followers." Sweet maintains the quote was taken out of context, and Muys feels voters saw through the negative campaign.

"Obviously, that didn't have an impact," he said. "There was a lot of mud flung his way during the campaign, smears and quotes taken out of context.

"But I think the voters saw through all of that," he added. "Now, they can judge him for what he does, as their MP."

Sweet rides 'positive' Tory message to ADFW victory

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The high road was the path to victory for Conservative candidate David Sweet, who feels it was his party's "positive, ideas-based campaign," which led to his victory in Monday night's election.

"The people have said 'no' to a campaign of fear, and 'yes' to a bright new day for Canada," said Sweet, to a boisterous crowd at his victory party at the Waterdown Legion.

Sweet won by 2,893 votes over Liberal incumbent Russ Powers, earning 24,523 ballots, or 39.1 per cent of the vote, compared to Powers's 21,630 votes or 34.5 per cent. NDP candidate Gordon Guyatt won 13,359 of the riding's 62,693 votes and Green candidate David Januczkowski earned 2,768, while Marxist-Leninist Jamil Ghaddar pulled in 111 votes and Independent Ben Cowie earned 302.

Sweet won nearly every poll in Flamborough, won the majority of Ancaster support, and picked up some surprise votes in Dundas and Westdale to take the win.

Roughly 150 cheering supporters and volunteers gathered at the Waterdown Legion to welcome the newly- elected member of Parliament, who had a long list of cherished friends and advisors to thank - not the least of which were his children, who've given up more than just Dad-time during the last eight weeks.

"They love me despite the fact that I'm the primary cook in our family, so they went without lots of dinners throughout the campaign," he joked. "I don't know what they'll do now."

The celebration was the culmination of a grueling eight-week campaign, and an 18-hour election day for Sweet. But the effort of the cold-weather campaign was well worth the sacrifice, as reception at the doors continued to warm.

"It definitely felt different this time," said Sweet's campaign chair, Dan Muys. "There was a positive energy. There was a good mood out there."

That's a stark contrast to the 2004 election, when Liberal ads alleging a scary "hidden agenda," knocked the wind from many Conservative campaigns across Ontario heading into the home stretch.

"We had the opposite feeling this time, right from the first week in January," said Muys.

Sweet's campaign was a reflection of the mood nation-wide, noted campaign organizer, Ray Pennings.

"Canada's had enough of scandal," he said. "They want integrity in government, and now they're going to get it."

Although the campaign is over, Sweet's work has just begun. He's eager to get to Parliament Hill, and feels Prime Minister elect Stephen Harper will be able to enact legislation and hold off a snap election by building bridges between the parties, despite his tenuous hold on power.

"He's already demonstrated he's a coalition-builder," said Sweet. "We're going to work issue by issue to bring people together. We'll work with whoever we need to, to make this a better country."

Sweet's first action as MP will be to meet with his provincial and municipal counterparts to determine what Hamilton hopes to get from the federal government.

"I'm ready to listen, and ready to learn," he said.

Although he feels his party's priorities of healthcare, childcare, crime, tax breaks and accountability are at the top of all Canadians' minds, Hamilton faces several unique challenges. Agriculture issues are prevalent in the largely rural riding. The Liberals have created a sweeping one-size-fits-all solution to agriculture, which doesn't solve anything, charged Sweet.

"Our farmers are in serious trouble," he said.

The fiscal imbalance to Hamilton is another issue he hopes to pursue. Money owing to the struggling city has reached $1 billion, according to Hamilton mayor Larry Di Ianni. If correct, that shortfall requires immediate attention, said Sweet.

Manufacturing and inner-city issues are also at the forefront of the agenda, he said.

But what isn't a priority are social issues. Sweet has come under fire throughout the campaign for what his opponents claim are socially conservative values. Although a free vote to settle the issue of same sex marriage is in his party's platform, it isn't one of the top five priorities, he said.

Sweet's membership in the Promise Keepers organization also came under fire, through Liberal press releases circulating quotes from a Christian publication, in which he referred to women as "natural followers." Sweet maintains the quote was taken out of context, and Muys feels voters saw through the negative campaign.

"Obviously, that didn't have an impact," he said. "There was a lot of mud flung his way during the campaign, smears and quotes taken out of context.

"But I think the voters saw through all of that," he added. "Now, they can judge him for what he does, as their MP."