Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Former Rupertite heads for Parliament Hill, by way of Liberal sweep of Ontario

Former Prince Rupert resident
Francesco Sorbara is off to Ottawa
representing a Toronto area riding

A one time resident of the North Coast will be taking a seat in the House of Commons when the new Parliament meets in Ottawa, after Francesco Sorbara  won the Toronto riding of Vaughn-Woodbridge for the Liberals in Monday's electoral landslide.

The Sorbara family moved to the North Coast from Southern Italy fifty years ago, settling in Prince Rupert where Fracesco's father joined the Carpenter's and Sheet Metal Workers' Union while his mother worked in one of the local canneries in the city of the time.

It would seem that Francesco developed his interest in the Liberal party at an early age, joining the Prince Rupert Liberal Youth Group during his years at PRSS (Class of 1990) and meeting with then Liberal leader Jean Chretien during his tour of the region back during his quest for the Prime Minister's office of the 1990's.

A meeting at PRSS with 
Jean Chretien many years ago,  
may have planted the seed of an idea 
to one day run for Parliament for former 
Prince Rupert resident Francesco Sorbara
His Liberal biography page  for the recent campaign is dotted with a number of Prince Rupert notes,  among the local references of his days on the North Coast Sorbara recounts some of the local jobs he held in the area at such locations as McDonald's and Zellers of the day, as well as summer employment during his university years working at the pulp mill and grain elevator.

His education through both Simon Fraser University and the University of Toronto led him to work in the financial sector in New York City, eventually though he returned to the Toronto area, where he would meet his wife Rose and would start a family.

Prior to his electoral success of Monday, Mr. Sorbara was working as a Bond Research Analyst for a Scotiabank.

As the Monday returns came in the battle for Vaughn-Woodbridge became an indication of the night of woe ahead for the Conservatives.

Mr. Sorbara in a back and forth race in the Toronto area swing riding, eventually would defeat the one time star candidate for the Conservative Party Julian Fantino, topping the former Cabinet Minister  by a margin of some 2,000 votes. (click on the Elections Canada box below to view results)

Mr. Fantino's time in the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was dogged by controversy over his handling of a number of issues related to his time as Veterans Affairs Minister. A theme that the Liberal campaign made a fair amount of mileage on through the campaign.

Some of the media reviews of the election night for Mr. Sorbara victory can be found below:

Francesco Sorbara wins Vaughn-Woodbridge riding, beating Julian Fantino
Liberal Francesco Sorbara wins in Vaughn-Woodbridge
Liberal Francesco Sorbara wins the riding of Vaughn-Woodbridge

Obviously his priority now will be to address the needs of the constituents in Vaughn-Woodbridge.

However, should the topic of the North Coast come up from time to time around the Liberal caucus room in the future, it's bound to be a positive thing for the Prince Rupert area to have someone to share some thoughts on the region with Prime Minister Trudeau.

Residents of the North Coast who might want to track the way forward for the former Rupertite can keep up to speed with the new MP through his twitter feed.

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