This includes in the riding of Milton, where star Liberal candidate and Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden beat veteran Conservative MP Lisa Raitt. The Liberals also maintained their presence in the core of Toronto, including overcoming tight races against the NDP.
Bethany Lindsay has more than a decade of experience in B.C. journalism, with a focus on the courts, health and social justice issues. She has also reported on human rights and crimes against humanity in Cambodia. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at [email protected] or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.
Braid: Trudeau minority has to go ahead with Trans Mountain
Over the course of the campaign, party leaders continuously made stops in the dozens of ridings across the GTA.
The Liberals had the most at stake, having won the majority of the region’s seats during the 2015 election, making them critical to hold onto this time around.
“You can’t become prime minister if you don’t do well in the Greater Toronto Area,” said Myer Siemiatycki on Global News’ West Block on Sunday.
In 2011, the GTA went Conservative and that resulted in the party gaining the most seats in Parliament.
Broadly speaking, most GTA riding battles are between the Liberals and the Conservatives, with a few ridings in the Toronto core that come down to fights between the Liberals and the NDP.
Its basically two parties fighting over the same set of voters who have the same concerns, but the parties have quite distinct approaches to addressing those concerns,” Peter Loewen, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, previously told Global News.
“So that makes it an interesting testbed to see which approaches to government are going to be the ones that win out there.
Many Liberal candidates had been touting the Canadian Child Benefit, while defending the Liberal government’s carbon tax as necessary for fostering environmental stewardship.
Conservatives had played up their proposal to do away with the carbon tax, something that is meant to appeal to those who commute to work by car in the region, and other tax cuts.
Thought he is running in a B.C. riding, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has deep roots in Brampton, where he served as a provincial MPP, and where his brother currently serves as an MPP. Brampton is crucial because of its five ridings, all of which were won by the Liberal Party in 2015.
One of Singh’s first campaign stops was in Brampton, where he promised to build a new hospital in the city, despite the fact that such measures fall under provincial and municipal jurisdiction.
And Ontario Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford has been a polarizing figure for the region. He’s been relegated to the sidelines during the campaign, not appearing once alongside Scheer, though Alberta Premier Jason Kenney stumped for the Conservatives in the GTA earlier this month.
When Scheer campaigned in Ford’s riding of Etobicoke North, the Premier was nowhere to be seen.
As the premier has said previously, he wishes all candidates well in the upcoming federal election but he is focused on governing and improving life for the people of Ontario,” a Ford spokesperson told reporters at the time.
And Trudeau has continuously weaponized the Ford name during campaign speeches, arguing that the priorities of a Scheer government would closely mirror those of Ford, whose tanking popularly has coincided with a number of unpopular budget cuts.
A recent Global News analysis showed that Trudeau has invoked Ford’s name at least as many times than he has mentioned Scheer.
The party also picked up seats from the Liberals in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.
Hes Premier Bogeyman, Scott Reid, a former adviser to Liberal prime minister Paul Martin, told the Canadian Press. For the Liberals, that means hes a walking, talking, sometimes shouting, example to voters in Ontario of what youll get federally if you vote for Andrew Scheer.
Alberta conservatives will hate this. But with Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives beaten, the remaining hope for Trans Mountain construction is Justin Trudeau in (limited) power.
There is a view, advanced here sometimes, that a minority is disastrous because the NDP, Greens and/or Bloc Quebecois will force Trudeau to abandon Trans Mountain.
But on Monday, the vast majority of Canadians cast a moderate vote on both pipelines and climate policy. Trudeau will ignore that at his peril.
He may have saved his campaign, and his government, by responding to the blackface photos as he did: standing in a public square in Winnipeg and taking every question the travelling press corps could muster. And he closed this campaign with a flourish, significantly buoyed by the endorsement of his old friend, Barack Obama.
The NDP lost 15 seats from their 2015 total. The Greens gained one, for a total of three — hardly the grand breakthrough.
The Conservatives won 26 more seats than they had at dissolution. The Liberals lost 20. Even Saskatchewan Liberal icon Ralph Goodale went down.
The Conservatives are all in for the pipeline. And the Liberals, we must remember, still say they will build Trans Mountain and put all the profits into green energy. They did buy the thing for $4.5 billion.
During the campaign, Trudeau kept stressing that point, even as he neglected to blast the hostile Green and NDP policies.
Composite photo of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May during the first leaders debate of the campaign, on Sept. 12, 2019. Frank Gunn/Pool via Reuters
The Greens and NDP got 21 per cent of the popular vote. If you throw in the pipeline-hating Bloc Quebecois, the total is just over 30 per cent.
By those recent standards, this is an incredible victory for the Liberal Party. By any measure, a victory is preferable to the alternative. This one will have seismic impacts on the short-term and long-term future of federal policy in this country — not least for climate policy.
And so, in a general way, the two big parties that favour the pipeline got well over double the support of the much smaller parties that oppose it.
By the numbers, Jagmeet Singh’s NDP now has the perfect number of seats to support the Liberals in a minority.
The Liberals got 155. Backing from the 25 New Democrats would put them comfortably over the 170-vote majority hurdle.
And Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, whose party won 32 seats, said clearly that the Liberals should stay in power.
The conventional thinking is that Singh or Blanchet would make a deal with Trudeau to support the Liberals, perhaps including a condition to stop the pipeline.
But don’t forget the Conservatives. If the pipeline was at stake in a vote, they might very well back the Liberals. They should, if their interest is the economy rather than just power.
Aaron Wherry has covered Parliament Hill since 2007 and has written for Maclean's, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. He is the author of Promise & Peril, a book about Justin Trudeau's years in power.
The other factor is exhaustion. No party will want a quick election, least of all the NDP, which will be flat broke. The small parties have far less fundraising capacity to rebound quickly, especially when they lost ground in campaigns.
Every election is a cause for reflection and a chance to start again. Canadians have not chosen to start on an entirely new direction. But Trudeau will have a chance to think about how he moves forward.
There is another tactic for running a minority government. In 1979, Progressive Conservative prime minister Joe Clark called it governing like a majority.
It didn’t work for Clark because of clumsy handling. The Liberals defeated his budget because of government failure to round up MPs at a crucial moment. Pierre Trudeau went on to thump the PCs in the 1980 election.
Managed well, though, governing like a majority can work. Former prime minister Stephen Harper did it through two minorities, making no deals but adroitly stickhandling legislation. Then he finally won his majority in 2011.
Today, Justin Trudeau is close enough to a majority — 14 seats short — that he could play this same game with some public legitimacy. The next federal election may be two years off.
Now, what would happen if Trudeau were to bow to the NDP (and the wishes of Singh’s Burnaby riding) and cancel the pipeline, or just let it fade away?
First, he would face a tremendous uproar from the Conservatives, who would do everything in their power to force an election.
Trudeau would damage his party by blowing up his entire energy transition and green growth strategy. He would waste $4.5 billion in public funds. He would look like both a fraud and a patsy for minority opinion.
Trudeau will have a fight in his caucus. Newly elected Montreal Liberal Stephen Guilbeault, a founder of the Quebec environmental outfit Equiterre, called Monday night for scrapping Trans Mountain.
But if Trudeau does that, he’ll be going against the great majority who voted Monday night. Just try it.