Source: Facebook

After a hotly contested and controversial nomination race, former MP Costas Menegakis has won the Conservative nomination.

Menegakis will carry the Conservative banner in Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill when Canadians go to the polls. 

“I am honoured that my fellow Conservatives have elected me to be their Conservative candidate heading into the next federal election,” he told True North in an email.

By the end of the race, two nomination contestants, Aurora town councillor Rachel Gilliland and former columnist Sabrina Maddeaux had accused the party and “another candidate,” in one case directly naming Menegakis, of rulebreaking.

Gilliland was disqualified by the party last week. Maddeaux suspended her campaign earlier this month.

“I thank everyone who participated in the nomination process,” Menegakis said. “Now is the time for all of us to work together with a focus on defeating this disastrous Liberal government.”

As the winner, Menegakis will face the current Liberal MP, Leah Taylor Roy, in the riding which has swung back and forth from Conservative to Liberal over the last four elections.

In 2021, Roy beat the Conservative incumbent Leona Alleslev by less than 3% of the vote.

“If elected, my first priority will be to work collaboratively with my colleagues to make life more affordable for Canadians as soon as possible,” Menegakis said when asked about the next federal election.

Menegakis won the riding in 2011 with Stephen Harper’s government against a longtime Liberal MP.

He lost in 2015 to Leona Alleslev who, elected as a Liberal, crossed the floor and joined the Conservative caucus in 2018. She won again as a Conservative in 2019 before losing it to Roy in 2021.

The boundaries of the Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill riding have changed since Menegakis was its MP.

He ran and lost in the neighbouring Richmond Hill riding in 2019 and 2021.

Menegakis, in a previous interview, told True North that he attributed his losses in the previous elections to federal issues involving the Liberal and Conservative parties at large.

If elected, he said he would be a constituency-focused MP, advocating for issues that matter to the people in his riding, as he said he had done when he was in office from 2011.

He pledged to advocate for reduced taxes, investing in infrastructure, bringing back business to Canada, and “responsible immigration” akin to the economic-based migration system that was in place during Harper’s Conservative government.

Despite the issues Canada faces in 2024, Menegakis was confident that “better days are ahead” with the new Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre at the party’s helm.