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Green Party candidate says Simcoe North result a 'personal victory'

'My goal coming into this was to continue to be an advocate, continue to offer a voice ... and I feel I have done that,' said Brooks, who earned 1,818 votes Monday
Krystal Brooks 09-20-21
Green Party candidate Krystal Brooks spent election day in her home community of Rama. She finished fifth in Simcoe North, a riding won by Conservative Adam Chambers.

Despite only receiving 1,818 votes and finishing a distant fifth in Monday's federal election, Green Party candidate Krystal Brooks said today she is feeling good about her campaign.

“We did a good job with the amount of people we had. I think most people know that, as Greens, we have a lot of work to do to improve our party,” she said.

“It goes back to leadership, and that’s what reflects on the candidates as well. When I was getting my signatures (required by Elections Canada), I had a lot of people that would not sign because they would say the Green Party needs to find a new leader and focus on what’s going on within their own party," Brooks explained.

She says the blame doesn’t only fall upon the shoulders of Green Party leader Annamie Paul; the snap election made it difficult for other parties to gain ground.

“I’m a brand new face in this. I stated right from the beginning that I am not a politician. I’m not typically one that people see on a ballot, which I take great pride in, but I also think it’s unrealistic to expect the same number of votes that the previous candidate received after years of being in the game,” she said.

In the 2019 federal election, veteran Green Party candidate Valerie Powell garnered 5,882 votes - just shy of 10% of ballots cast that year in Simcoe North.

Despite the steep learning curve, Brooks says she would run again for the Green Party in the future.

“I have met so many incredible people through this and I’ve gotten to listen to the concerns which has been my favourite part of this,” she said.

“Meeting the other candidates was such a blessing because they all have something to offer, and they are such wonderful people.”

Brooks says she was excited for Conservative Party candidate Adam Chambers who won last night’s election.

“At the Orillia for Democracy debate I was very nervous, and I was having a difficult time. Halfway through the debate, Adam held up a note so only I could see, and it said 'You are doing great.' It was the sweetest thing ever," said Brooks.

If she could go through the election process all over again, Brooks doesn’t know if she would do anything different.

“I just wish I had a lot more time to interact with people, I think that’s the biggest one. Hitting as many houses and talking to as many people as possible was something that was tricky with this election,” she said.

Brooks said she had to withstand an "overwhelming" about of negative behaviour from men during the campaign.

“I got an overwhelming amount of inappropriate and all-around disgusting messages from a number of men," lamented Brooks.

"It was disturbing and very difficult to focus on what I needed and wanted to accomplish because I was constantly being sexualized during every moment of this journey," she said.

“Somebody said they would vote for me if I took my top off. On any and all social media posts, it was almost a guarantee that I would receive upwards of 20 messages from random men telling me how beautiful I was and asking me if I was single; they were using my platform as a dating site," she said.

Despite the harassment, Brooks is happy that she put her name forward.

“My goal coming into this was to continue to be an advocate, continue to offer a voice for a lot of different people and things that don’t have a voice, and I feel I have done that," she said.

“Winning is very different for me than it is for a lot of other people. I genuinely believe I have won in a lot of different ways. What I take from this is very different than what the other candidates might take away from this. I don’t see it as a loss, but a personal victory," she said.

Brooks’ campaign manager, Mathew Lund, says he is proud of Brooks.

“It was very difficult because we were left without a lot of things, we lost a lot of volunteers, a lot of money, but despite all that she was out there working, hustling, going door to door, and she did an incredible job connecting people on a one-on-one basis," said Lund. "She even got people out to vote who had never done so before.

“I think we surpassed what our expectation was. She ended up with a 3.5 percent local vote compared to the 2.2 percent on the national average. Annamie Paul herself only got 0.8 percent. So, we are incredibly proud of the work and effort Krystal put in," he told OrilliaMatters.

Lund says the national vote was down because for the Greens who did not field a candidate in 82 ridings across the country.

“This party has had a full slate of candidates in every riding since 2002, and this is the first time we were 82 ridings down. That is the reason why we have lost such a huge percentage and we need to figure out what happened there,” he said.

“There should be reviews within the party to figure that situation out, and that’s where we need to first look to rebuild and restructure the party.”

With just mail-in ballots left to count, here is the tally for Simcoe North after ballots were counted in 281 of the 282 polls:
Adam Chambers (Conservative) 25,414 votes or 42.6% of the total
Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux (Liberal) 17,983 or 30.2%
Janet-Lynne Durnford (NDP) 9,480 or 15.9%
Stephen Makk (PPC) 4,715 or 7.9%
Krystal Brooks (Green Party) 1,818 or 3%
Russ Emo (Christian Heritage Party) 200 or .3%

According to Elections Canada, 59,610 of 101,144 registered electors (58.94 %) voted on Monday. That does not include electors who registered on election day.



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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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