Quest not over: Megill running for Cornwall council

SDSG Liberal Heather Megill congratulates PC Jim McDonell with a hug at Ramada Cornwall following his victory in the Ontario election. Megill says she will run for Cornwall City Council this fall. Also shown are Green Party candidate Elaine Kennedy, center, NDP candidate Marc Benoit, second from right, and NDP executive member Carilyne Hebert. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Even though she lost to Progressive Conservative Jim McDonell in Thursday night’s election, Liberal Heather Megill has her sights set on another political office.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard or not yet but I’m running for city council,” an upbeat Megill told Cornwall Newswatch as election night was winding up. Megill had stopped by Ramada Cornwall to congratulate McDonell on his victory.

Megill says jumping to municipal politics wasn’t her intention when she started the provincial campaign.

“It’s been such as positive experience for me and I think that’s part of it. All politics is local and one of the things I’ve learned from the experience of running provincially, there are a lot of people with a lot of needs and they need someone to advocate for them and that’s what I want to do.”

As a teacher and a union representative, Megill said she likes to help people get “through the minefields without blowing up.”

While disappointed about the provincial race, Megill said it was a good SDSG campaign.

Megill ended up in third place, behind NDP Marc Benoit, with 12.3 per cent of the popular vote.

“As far as the local riding goes, people have spoken here. But it was a very respectful race. It was a very local race. I’ve got some new friends out of the whole thing,” Megill laughed.

“In our riding, people are kind, they’re generous, they’re respectful,” she added.

“I’m disappointed provincially but, you got 14 years in power and people, they want change, and that’s what they got. I would have liked to see the Liberals maintain party status,” Megill said.

With the Liberals coming up with seven seats that isn’t the case. Premier-Designate Rob Ford said he will discuss with his team in the coming weeks whether legislation will be changed to allow the Liberal party to be recognized in the Ontario legislature.

In this March 2018, file photo, then-Premier Kathleen Wynne and Liberal SDSG candidate Heather Megill talk during Wynne’s campaign stop in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

As to whether her campaign suffered from Kathleen Wynne announcing a week before Election Day that she would not be premier, Megill doesn’t think so.

“People (locally) were Liberal-shy. People we’ve always been able to count on in the past provincially, federally, people were like ‘I don’t want to get involved this time.’ I think what Kathleen Wynne did was a brave thing to do. When she recognized that it had nothing to do with the party, it was her, she threw herself on her sword to help save the party,” Megill said.

The municipal election is on Oct. 22.

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