Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden defeats Lisa Raitt to capture Milton for Liberals – Global News

Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden defeats Lisa Raitt to capture Milton for Liberals - Global News
Liberal Olympian Adam van Koeverden defeats deputy PC leader Lisa Raitt in Milton, Ont.
Global News has declared Liberal candidate and Olympic gold medallist Adam van Koeverden has upset long-time Conservative politician and deputy party leader Lisa Raitt.

Raitt had previously held the riding since 2008, defeating the Liberal candidate by nearly 30 per cent in 2015.

Video: Lisa Raitt on whats next for her after loss to Adam van Koeverden

Under the Harper government, Raitt held a number of high-profile positions including Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Transportation.

TORONTO — Liberal candidate and former Olympic athlete Adam van Koeverden has been elected as the Member of Parliament for Milton, defeating Conservative Lisa Raitt who has held the riding since 2008.

Two Burlington MPs keep their seats while Milton opts for change

Following her concession speech Monday evening, Raitt told Global News that she was thankful to serve Milton for the past 11 years but that the riding had changed, resulting in her not being re-elected.

Im just satisfied with the amount of work weve done. Hard work pays off, he said. We hit the ground. We talked to our neighbours. We asked them what they wanted. And they delivered.

Adam Van Koeverden Liberal MP Gets All The Attention For His Denim Jacket

“The people of Milton have spoken. The voter is never incorrect, they always get it right, but I had the honour of getting to serve this community for 11 years and it’s been something that a lot of people aspire to do but never get the chance to do, so Im actually quite content.

The city of Milton, which makes up a large portion of the riding, is one of the fastest-growing communities in the province, according to census data, meaning many of those voting this fall may not have been around for the previous election.

\”I know in his races, he had teammates and coaches and they were all part of the team,\” she said, \”but with this, he had so many volunteers, grassroots people who worked so hard. Some people walked 36 kilometres a day knocking on doors. So many people gave so much of themselves and were so invested in this.\”

Adam van Koeverden scores convincing victory over Lisa Raitt in Milton

READ MORE: Ontario’s Milton riding poised to be a nailbiter as high-profile candidates face off

\”Im so proud of what weve been able to accomplish together. We have an arts and culture centre now, we have a velodrome — the second in North America. Those were things that we can say weve accomplished together and make our community so much better for so many years,\” she said.

In an interview with the Canadian Press ahead of the election, Raitt noted that the race was “tight” and that it would be a “little foolish to assume things would go the same way as they’ve done in the past.”

If you were watching the election results come in tonight and noticed a face that seemed familiar, it was probably that of Adam Van Koeverden. Van Koeverden, who is now officially the MP for the Ontario riding of Milton, has been on Canadian screens plenty of times before and has represented the country in more ways than one.

“I think its uncertain because we just dont have data on everybody whos moved into town and how they feel and what they think, she told the Canadian Press.

During Canadas 43rd federal election, there has been one particular candidate that is catching the eyes of Canadians. If you thought you recognized Miltons Liberal candidate, youd be right! Hes an ex-Olympian, a professional kayaker, and now, Adam Van Koeverdens a Liberal MP.

Van Koeverden, who holds four Olympic medals in kayaking, largely centred his campaign around health and issues involving youth.

Before Adam Van Koeverden made a move into politics, he was actually a four-time Olympic medalist, representing Canada from a kayak. Now 37-years-old, Van Koeverden has traded in his kayak for an office job, and he seems to be off to a good start.

In an interview with Global News on election night, van Koeverden said getting out and talking to constituents is how his team built its campaign platform.

“We need a plan that is feasible that is going to work for every Canadian,” van Koeverden said.  “I’m glad that we have that in Canada and I think the Liberal party has the most ambitious and feasible plan on things like the environment, on housing, on the economy and jobs and we’ve proven that the last four years, so I’m glad that we have a mandate to go back to Ottawa and do some more good work.”

“I know that weve talked to more of our neighbours than any campaign here in Milton ever has,” he said.

As for his first order of business on the job, “I’m going to keep listening. I think there’s a lot of talking in politics and there’s not enough listening,” said van Koeverden, who plans to hold three or four town halls every year to get feedback from the community. “I’m going to ask my neighbours what they want.”

“Weve been very engaging, you know, weve been out there asking people what they want to see in a government and, you know, thats how we built our platform — based on what our neighbours say.”

And as eyes were glued to the tight race in Milton Monday evening, van Koeverden says he was out door-knocking into the dying hours of the campaign, vying for every last vote.

After Harpers resignation as Conservative Leader, Raitt ran in the partys leadership contest, losing to Andrew Scheer. Raitt has also reportedly considered running for the premiership of Ontario, first after Tim Hudaks resignation, and again, after Patrick Browns sexual misconduct scandal. 

Sitting on the start line of a race Id always take a confident breath & think about all the kms, hard-strokes & chin-ups that got me there. This time Im confident bc of my team & my volunteers. Weve done the work. Thanks to my neighbours for an amazing campaign. #Milton🇨🇦

Throughout her time in politics, Raitt has held positions in Stephan Harpers cabinet, as well as Ambroses and Harpers shadow cabinet. Under Prime Minister Harper, Raitt held numerous roles as the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Labour, and the Minister of Transport. 

“And the second-to-last door that I knocked was an Ecuadorian family that didnt want to go and vote, but my friend Emily was there and she speaks perfect Spanish so we got them into the car and got them to cast two ballots.

In Milton, Raitt was up against former Olympic athlete, Adam van Koeverden, who won gold in kayaking in the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens. Van Koeverden is a popular figure, having a street named after him in his hometown of Oakville.

“Weve been pulling people out to vote all day and we did that over advanced polls and through early balloting as well so weve been doing our job,” he said.

Four-time Olympic medal winner and Liberal candidate Adam van Koeverden flipped the traditionally blue riding of Milton, Ont., defeating deputy Conservative Party leader and incumbent Lisa Raitt.

The two were locked in a tight race in the riding — a critical one for both parties as they looked to win in the highly-coveted 905 area.

A win in Milton by the star Liberal candidate is a historic one given the riding has traditionally voted Conservative.

"I have big shoes to fill," the Liberal told reporters Monday night, saying Raitt congratulated him on his win.

"Lisa is a good MP and we've had a couple of really good conversations over the last couple of months. I have the utmost respect for Ms. Raitt and her work. I hope that we can sit down for lunch and talk about Milton."

For her part, Raitt said she was grateful for what she was able to accomplish in the riding over the past decade or so.

"There's a lot of people who never make it into the House of Commons and I've been so privileged to be there. So it's not the win that we wanted to have this evening, but I'm amongst my friends and I'm amongst my family and everybody who's been with me in 11 years," she said.

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