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Khanjin opens campaign office in south end, gunning for second term

'I will campaign just as hard this year as I did the first time around,' says Progressive Conservative candidate in Barrie-Innisfil

Progressive Conservative candidate Andrea Khanjin, the incumbent MPP in Barrie-Innisfil, opened her campaign office Wednesday evening in south-end Barrie to officially start the race for a second term. 

Khanjin’s campaign office opened at 361 King St., Unit 3. Election rules state incumbents can’t use their constituency office as their campaign headquarters. 

Khanjin and her team were in the new office yesterday for the official opening. She says they are ready to go.

“This is the campaign kick-off and it really helps us build up momentum and gets your volunteers motivated, and no campaign is complete without your volunteers,” she said.

Khanjin won the Barrie-Innisfil seat in 2018 by more than 9,000 votes.

As she goes door to door, she says she hopes people will ask why they should choose the Progressive Conservatives on June 2.

“The main reason people should continue voting for the Progressive Conservatives is to look back as to why we got elected four years ago," she said. "Then it was about cost of living and affordability and now on the other side of the pandemic, it is very much about that.

“We are also building infrastructure across the province and our own backyard with Highway 400," Khanjin added. "That, along with working hand-in-hand with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and helping to acquire new life-saving machinery and a south campus, we are committed to the region.”

As of Thursday morning, the Barrie-Innisfil candidates listed on Elections Ontario's website include Khanjin, Grace Dean (Ontario Party), Benjamin Hughes (independent), Pekka Reinio (NDP), Ashlyn Steele (New Blue), and Jake Tucker (independent). The Green Party has announced Bonnie North as their candidate, but she is not listed. The Liberals have not announced a candidate. 

Khanjin said her focus is on reclaiming the riding.

“I never take anything for granted and always run as if I have lots of opponents against me, even if they haven't been announced,” she said. “I will campaign just as hard this year as I did the first time around.”

But a lot has changed in the world, and in Khanjin's life, since her last campaign. In November, baby Oliver was welcomed home by Khanjin and husband.

BarrieToday asked if being a mom has changed her outlook on politics. 

“I love being a mom and I feel it has changed my life for the better. I think it helps me relate more to families in terms of juggling your priorities,” she said. “I believe it has helped me be a better MPP because it has helped me understand better what the needs of families are.

"A good example is the daycare announcement we made when we first got elected, because we understand that parents want to stay home more and we have a tax credit for that.”