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