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ELECTION '18: Runner-up Mlynarz promises to hold Guthrie to account (4 photos)

'I would definitely do it again,' says Aggie Mlynarz

Even though she placed second to incumbent mayoral candidate Cam Guthrie in Monday’s municipal election, Aggie Mlynarz promised to stick around to hold His Worship to account.

”Accountability shouldn’t just come up every four years,” Mlynarz told the crowd of about 70 supporters at The Red Papaya restaurant. “Accountability needs to be something you are like a dog with a bone with — you can’t drop it.”

Mlynarz conceded the election with 31 of 46 polls counted, as Guthrie was up by about 5,500 votes. He ended up winning by 11,054, garnering two thirds of the vote.

“Sure, change can happen overnight, but movements also take time,” she told supporters. “We have started something today that I don’t think we should let go of and that we need to keep building.”

“My promise to you is I will spend then next four years holding him to account with the promises that he made,” she told supporters.

Speaking to media after her remarks to the crowd, Mlynarz said she had not yet spoken to Guthrie personally, but planned to do so to concede the election.

She said the biggest divide between her campaign and Guthrie was a differing opinion on how to confront the mental health and addictions issue in the city — Mlynarz said she would prefer more consultation with the front line mental health and addictions professionals, while Guthrie’s preference is spending on more policing.

“I think (Guthrie) should listen more and I hope we don’t just rely on the police for the next four years,” said Mlynarz.

She plans to stay involved in municipal affairs.

“I think I have built some great relationships, I’m not going to be stepping away from them. I will continue to move in that direction,” said Mlynarz.

The municipal campaign was more personal than her summer candidacy during the last provincial election, she said.

“You have a lot more responsibility in terms of writing your own platform, in terms of preparing your own materials,” said Mlynarz. “It’s scrappy, you’re rolling with the punches from start to finish.”

Not having to toe the party line, Mlynarz said she was able to put her own mark on the municipal campaign.

During the campaign, Mlynarz said she didn't want to see an acclamation for Guthrie, who otherwise ran unopposed.

Mlynarz said she is proud of her campaign and said she wouldn’t change a thing — not even running for city council instead.

“We ran a very happy campaign and we ran one that was environmentally sustainable, socially sustainable and was inspirational to a lot of folks and I think it was a great start,” said Mlynarz. 

“I would definitely do it again,” she added.

After her remarks, Mlynarz greeted the crowd, told by one woman that she was an inspiration.

Speaking to media, Mlynarz said people telling her they were inspired to vote for the first time in a municipal election was a moving experience.

“It was good to see folks really engaging themselves and trying to teach themselves why municipal politics matters and why (they) should vote,” she said.

During the municipal campaign, Mlynarz took a different approach to lawn signs by opting for one handmade by Torchlight Services over the usual plastic ones. She also favoured recyclable paper signs which were encouraged to go in the front windows of her supporters.

In July, Mlynarz announced her intention to run for mayor of Guelph, little more than a month after finishing third in the provincial election as a candidate for the NDP.


Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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