Jackie Agnew remains positive and parties on

By Celina Ip

EGANVILLE – The people of Ontario opted for change while people in the riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke opted to remain the same.


On Thursday evening, Jackie Agnew was joined by her family and supporters at Eganville’s RIO Tap and Grill as the polls closed and voting results came pouring in following the 2018 provincial election.

As a Progressive Conservative majority swept over Ontario to welcome Doug Ford as the new premier, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke saw a PC majority as well that left incumbent MPP John Yakabuski remaining in his seat.

Shortly after hearing the results, Agnew called Yakabuski to congratulate him on his victory and she called NDP candidate Ethel LaValley as well, acknowledging the good run that they all had in this year’s election.

For Agnew, it was a good run indeed, as she made her presence known by travelling across the riding, posting more than 1000 signs, attending the debates and knocking on doors and talking to electors right until the final day of the election.

Agnew expressed that she was very pleased with what she was able to accomplish in the past few months, calling it an amazing journey and a great learning experience.

“It's been a journey that I would never give up and I’m so happy I did this,” she said. “If the only thing that happens from this is that i brought awareness to the issues facing our county, regarding mental health concerns and the twinning of highway 417, then I’ve made my mark and I’ve already won in my heart.”

The Liberal candidate's campaign manager, Will Wuehr, agreed said he was very proud of Agnew and the great fight that she put forth in this year’s election.

“To watch Jackie progress as a candidate and just to see how great of an elected representative she would become - it's been incredible,” said Wuehr. “We had a good idea of what was going to happen in this election as Ontarions had been discussing how much they want change. But Jackie has handled this incredibly well, she's such a strong woman and (in my personal view) this has been a win for us as a campaign as we got Jackie's message across and brought mental health and other issues to the forefront in this election.”

After honouring her fellow candidates with the phone calls, Agnew picked up the microphone to address her campaign team and supporters, as she thanked each of them for helping her run an excellent campaign.

“I don’t take this loss personally because Ontario wanted a change as a whole,” said Agnew. “Throughout this campaign, with the support of all of you, I was able to put issues like mental health, transportation and affordability on the forefront. All of you have made this journey unforgettable and I thank you for that.”

Regardless of her loss, Agnew said that she plans on remaining actively involved in her riding and will fight to ensure that dollars are rightfully spent within Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

“I will be putting my name forward as a municipal councillor again, I will continue my work with Housing and Homelessness for the County of Renfrew and I will keep up with my mental health task force to make sure that the money spent in this area is spent in the places that we need it,” she said.

To close out her election party, Agnew held a positive spirit as she smiled at everyone in the room and encouraged them to remain strong and party on.

“Even though we didn't win the most votes, in my mind this was a victory,” smiled Agnew. “We've learned so much, we've met so many people and we did the people of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke a democratic service. This is absolutely a time to celebrate and I want to say thanks again for the support over the past couple of months and let's party on.” 

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