Five things — Metro Vancouvers big hits, misses and unexpected turns in the federal election – Vancouver Sun

Five things — Metro Vancouver\s big hits, misses and unexpected turns in the federal election - Vancouver Sun
Jody Wilson-Raybould going back to Ottawa as Independent MP in minority Parliament
Wilson-Raybould comes back, Svend doesnt, Liberals lose power in Surrey and the pollsters got it right.

Monday night’s federal election brought shocks, disappointments and intrigues as the federal Liberals secured a minority government in Canada (They won the most seats, but not enough to hold the balance of power in the House of Commons.)

Both politicians resigned from the Liberal cabinet and were subsequently booted from caucus during the unraveling of the SNC-Lavalin affair in early 2019. Wilson-Raybould sat as both attorney general and minister of veterans affairs, while Philpott held the positions of minister of health, minister of Indigenous services, and president of the Treasury Board.

Here’s a look at the five of the more interesting things that came out of the election in Metro Vancouver.

In this combo picture, Independent candidate Jane Philpott, left, greets supporters after losing her Markham-Stouffville and Independent candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould, right, celebrates her election win in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, October 21, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong)

Ken Hardie (left) celebrates his 2015 victory in Fleetwood-Port Kells which he retained on Monday night. Mark van Manen / PNG

Her fellow Independent and former Liberal colleague, Jane Philpott, meanwhile, was a distant third in her riding – with 21 per cent of the vote. It wasnt enough to surpass Conservative Theodore Antony with 31 per cent and winner Liberal Helena Jaczek with 39 per cent.

In the 2015 federal election the Liberal red wave swept across B.C.’s second most populous city, resulting in four of the five Surrey ridings being seized from other parties. Two years later, the sole Conservative Surrey MP Dianne Watts (South Surrey-White Rock) stepped aside and was replaced in a byelection by Liberal Gordie Hogg – giving the Liberals total control over Surrey.

Wilson-Raybould is the only Independent to make it through to the House of Commons. She joins three Greens, 24 NDP, 32 Bloq Quebecois, 122 Tories, and 156 Liberals, including a re-elected Justin Trudeau.

In this election, the Liberals kept three seats but lost two. In Surrey Centre, Liberal incumbent Randeep Sarai again won handily over the Conservatives and NDP who got about the same lesser share of the vote.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, the representative for Vancouver Granville, won her riding Monday night with 32 per cent of the vote, surpassing her Liberal rival Noormohamed Taleeb who earned 27 per cent.

In Fleetwood-Port Kells Liberal Ken Hardie hung on over Conservative Shinder Purewal, while in Surrey Newton Sukh Dhaliwal won handily over the second place NDP candidate.

OTTAWA –Two high-profile Independents will venture out on separate paths, with only one heading back to Ottawa as an MP in a few weeks when the 44th Parliament is formed.

However, the Conservatives won South-Surrey White Rock as former Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay made a political comeback (after losing Delta-Richmond in 2015) and comfortably took out Hogg.

It was far from the 2015 results when Philpott, as a Liberal, earned almost 50 per cent of support from her Markham-Stouffville community.

The Cloverdale-Langley City riding was another one that switched back to the Conservatives in this election after being secured in 2015 by Liberal John Aldag, who ran again this time but was just beaten by Tamara Jansen.

Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould waves to the crowd at Hellenic Community of Vancouver Centre during Canadian Federal Election in Vancouver, B.C., October 21, 2019. Arlen Redekop / PNG

Shortly before her expulsion, audio from a phone conversation between her and Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick, secretly recorded by Wilson-Raybould, was released in which Wernick is heard saying Trudeau was hoping for a delayed prosecution agreement. It was one of several pieces of evidence Wilson-Raybould released to confirm her earlier testimony.

The fight for Vancouver Granville was the big intrigue in local politics this election, after Liberal incumbent Jody Wilson-Raybould was ousted from caucus and the party for exposing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s involvement in the SNC Lavalin affair.

The last time a candidate won a Canadian election without backing from a party was in 2008, when Andre Arthur was re-elected in the Quebec riding of Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier. He first entered Parliament as an Independent in 2006. Only three other MPs have won re-election as an Independent since 1974.

Wilson-Raybould — faced with the truth that Canadian voters rarely backed an Independent — took a stand, raised money and with the backing of a strong volunteer base got to work.

“There is an opportunity for us to be more co-operative and recognize that one political party doesnt hold a monopoly on all the solutions to the issues that were facing as Canadians, she told Global National’s Dawna Friesen shortly before the election.

Monday night was a dogfight up until the end, with Wilson-Raybould, Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed and Conservative candidate Zach Segal each holding the lead at one point. Wilson-Raybould had won handily in 2015, with 44 per cent of the vote, with the NDP and Conservatives each getting 26 per cent of the vote. This year the NDP’s Yvonne Hanson polled fourth.

Wilson-Raybould retained the riding at the end of the night, but it remains to be seen what power Wilson-Raybould will have as an Independent — certainly more than if the Liberals had secured a majority.

Wilson-Raybould has already proven herself popular as a Liberal before being booted from the party. In 2015, she collected 23,643 votes (43.9 per cent), decisively winning over New Democrat Mira Oreck who came in second with 14,462 votes (26.9 per cent).

Failed NDP candidate Svend Robinson addresses the media Friday, October 4, 2019 at his constituency office in Burnaby, B.C. about homophobic remarks Conservative Party candidate Heather Leung has made in the past. Jason Payne / PNG

The one-time Liberal MP, who served as Justin Trudeau’s attorney general and justice minister before the SNC-Lavalin affair led to her dismissal from the Liberal caucus, was able to keep her former party at bay despite an aggressive Liberal push.

Longtime former NDP MP Svend Robinson decided to re-enter politics in a riding at the centre — or the end — of the $9.3 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion debate. The NDP position was no pipeline, while the Liberals – who held the seat – had already bought the pipeline and were committed to moving it ahead.

She catapulted into national stardom after she testified this spring that she faced a campaign of inappropriate pressure from Trudeau and 10 of his most senior officials last year to offer a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC-Lavalin.

Robinson had a lot of old supporters and hung in tight but was not able to oust Liberal incumbent Terry Beech.

Green party leader Elizabeth May reacts following the federal election results in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada October 21, 2019. KEVIN LIGHT / REUTERS

Federal Green party leader Elizabeth May was re-elected to her Saanich-Gulf Islands riding on Monday night. She was the first Green party Member of Parliament in Canada. In May of this year the Greens secured a second seat when Paul Manly won a byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith after the NDP incumbent Sheila Malcolmson resigned to run successfully for the provincial NDP in another byelection.

On a riding-by-riding level, very little changed from four years ago: the Greens and NDP held Vancouver Island, the NDP and Conservatives kept the Interior and the Liberals won the most seats in Vancouver, despite gains by the Conservatives in the suburbs. 

On Monday night, Manly was re-elected. And while it’s not quite a green wave a third MP — Jenica Atwin — won in Fredericton, New Brunswick, just beating out the Conservative and Liberal candidates. The Liberals had held the riding for one term after beating the Conservatives.

Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire arrive onstage for his victory speech at Liberal election headquarters at the Palais des Congress in Montreal Tuesday October 22, 2019. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette

In the final hours of this year’s somewhat ugly and empty election race there were still a variety of polls coming out. The 338Canada popular vote projections — based on results from traditional pollsters like Nanos, Ipsos and Abacus Data — tipped a minority Liberal government with the Liberals winning 142 seats, Conservatives 125 seats, NDP 35, Bloc Quebecois 33, two for the Greens and one independent.

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It wasn’t too far off — 338Canada was correct there would be a minority Liberal government, though the Liberals won more seats than tipped, and the Conservatives fewer. It was close to bang with the Bloc Quebecois winning 32 seats and the Greens three. It even picked an independent win (Wilson-Raybould).

That's a generous assessment for a party that received more attention than ever, but only added a single seat across the country and was unable to eclipse the popular vote total May got in her first election as leader in 2008.

In B.C., 338Canada tipped the Liberals to win 10 seats, Conservatives 16 seats, NDP 14 and Greens two. The Greater Vancouver seat projection was nine Liberal, six NDP, six conservative and one independent.

Despite the relative lack of drama on election night, the results ensured B.C. politicians and issues will play a large role on the national stage — for however long this next parliament lasts.

On the night, the Conservatives in B.C. were able to claw back seats ending with 17 (at press time), while the Liberals and NDP each had 11, the Greens had two and Wilson-Raybould scored a win as an independent.

It's a reminder that there's strong support in Western Canada's largest metropolis for progressive politics, and that the political culture on the West Coast continues to evolve.

Former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is returning to Ottawa as an Independent MP for Vancouver Granville, saying her victory sends a strong message to Ottawa about doing politics a new way. 

Wilson-Raybould served as attorney general and justice minister after she won the Vancouver—Granville seat in 2015, but she was later shuffled to a lesser cabinet role then booted from the party during the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Wilson-Raybould had alleged that the Prime Minister’s office had improperly pressured her concerning prosecution of the Quebec-based engineering firm on allegations of fraud and bribery. The ethics commissioner later found Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had acted improperly in the scandal.

"I am so happy to be standing here as the newly elected Independent candidate for Vancouver Granville," Wilson-Raybould announced to a roaring crowd after her win Monday.

It was not until more than a quarter of the riding’s polls had reported on election night that Wilson-Raybould’s supporters let out their first relieved cheer. The Independent had finally showed a positive result, having trailed both the Conservatives and Liberals through the early evening. The elation led to a brief dance party and much hooting and hollering that intensified through the night as Wilson-Raybould’s lead increased.

The incumbent narrowly defeated her closest challengers, Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed and Conservative Zach Segal, with around 32 per cent of the vote in what was initially a tight three-way race.

Wilson-Raybould said she would be “proud and pleased to work with all of the members of Parliament,” and she called for politicians to come together, collaborate and work across party lines “for four more years, or however long the minority government lasts.”

Wilson-Raybould will be the only Independent in the House of Commons after she was ousted from the Liberal Party over the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Then attorney general, she said she was bullied by then-Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office to spare the Quebec engineering firm from prosecution.

Her decision to leave cabinet was followed by her colleague Jane Philpott, who failed in her attempt to win as an Independent in the Ontario riding of Markham-Stouffville. The two politicians supported one another at events throughout the campaign.

Trudeau eventually kicked both women out of the Liberal caucus and many of their supporters saw it as vindication when the federal ethics commissioner concluded that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring Wilson-Raybould to stop the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

Wilson-Raybould declined an offer to run for the Green Party, saying she was content to run as an Independent in 2019. Still, after she was expelled from caucus, she continued to vote with the Liberals on many issues.

Boutin had a tough task in running against Wilson-Raybould, who could count among her supporters during this election none other than Green Leader Elizabeth May. May had appeared at a rally for Wilson-Raybould and Independent Jane Philpott in September.

"Tonight we accomplished — together — something extraordinary," she told her supporters on Monday night. "Independent, strong voices matter, and that we can do politics differently."

Wilson-Raybould fended off a challenge from her former party in the form of Taleeb Noormohamed. Wilson-Raybould sat in first with about 32 per cent of the riding’s votes, a rare feat for an independent candidate in a Canadian election.

UBC political scientist Gerald Baier said a minority government in Ottawa will allow Wilson-Raybould to pick and choose what issues she wants to support, with little consequence.

Q. How do you explain Jagmeet Singhs popularity? I think the leaders debate really had a huge impact on peoples perception of him. People didnt really know him before, so they didnt really have high expectations. He was making the rounds but still people didnt know he was or what he was about. He really proved himself and proved hes a man of the people. He comes across as extremely genuine both on TV and when I met him in person. I absolutely believe that he is fighting for what he says hes fighting for.

"She can vote with the government and nobody is going to punish her," he said. "It's the opportunity to be quite entrepreneurial."

In her victory speech, Wilson-Raybould said she wants to inspire other politicians in Ottawa to work across party lines on issues like climate change, electoral reform and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Q: You were pounding the pavement door knocking today. What did you hear on the door step? Right now we have a lot of people who are still considering voting Liberal and theyre feeling really bad about it because they feel like they have to vote strategically. They dont actually want to vote Liberal, but theyre feeling coerced by the fear of having a Conservative government.

"I do think the best laws and best policies come from a minority government situation and I am going to be proud … and pleased to work with all the members of Parliament," she said.

On Monday, she spent the day making thank you calls while her volunteers knocked on doors for a last minute push to get voters to the polls.

Entering the race this time, she had the advantage of a significantly larger profile than her challengers. But her campaign team was challenged with persuading voters that she would be an effective MP as an Independent without the same privileges in the House of Commons as the member of a major party.

Constituents who attended campaign events in Vancouver Granville ahead of election day said they would vote again for Wilson-Raybould, either because they liked her as a person or because they wanted to send a message to the Liberal Party about its handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Some expressed doubts about how much Wilson-Raybould would be able to accomplish in Ottawa as an Independent, but she pledged throughout this campaign to do politics differently through a non-partisan approach

"Vancouver Granville has shown that integrity matters and if we have integrity and do the right thing in politics you can succeed, we can succeed," she said.

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