Liberals retain minority government

Parc-Ex residents choose to reelect Justin Trudeau

Parc-Extension residents headed to the polls at numerous locations throughout the district. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST

Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal Party managed to maintain power in Tuesday’s election, forming a minority government with a total of 158 seats, gaining one. The makeup of this parliament will remain virtually unchanged from that of the 2019 elections. 

Erin O’Toole and the Conservative Party were defeated after getting 119 electoral seats, losing two. This wasn’t sufficient to form a government and will instead now form the official opposition. 

The New Democratic Party saw a similar trend of not making sufficient enough inroads across the country to get into power, only gaining one seat to a total of 25. The same was the case with the Bloc Quebecois who saw a net gain of two seats totalling 34, but nowhere near their objective of 40. 

The Green Party managed to clinch two seats losing one in the process and failing to elect leader Anamie Paul in her riding of Toronto Center. The People’s Party of Canada failed to elect any candidates, including leader Maxime Bernier who lost in his own riding of Beauce.

Papineau riding

In the riding of Papineau, the electoral district Parc-Extension shares with Villeray and Saint-Michel, incumbent Justin Trudeau was reelected by a large margin. With a total of 21,872 votes, he managed to get a healthy 49% of the local vote.

Trudeau has held the riding, a longtime Liberal stronghold since 2008 and this year marks his fifth consecutive electoral win here. It is also the third time he has been elected Prime Minister since 2015.

The NDP’s candidate in Papineau Christine Paré came in second with a total of 10,021 votes, accounting for 23% of votes cast. She was followed by the Bloc Québecois’s Nabila Ben Youssef with 6,676 votes, the Conservative Party’s candidate Julio Rivera with 2,152 votes and the Green’s Alain Lépine with 1,402 votes. 

“I hope that it will change things for the better,”

Victory and concession 

Trudeau delivered his victory speech from Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth hotel in front of party members, reporters and enthusiastic supporters. “The moment we face demands real important change, and you have given this parliament, and this government, clear direction,” said Trudeau.

“You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic, and to the brighter days ahead. My friends, that’s exactly what we are ready to do,” said Trudeau, seemingly happy with his largely unchanged minority government.

While spirits were high at the Liberal’s victory celebrations, the same was not the case in Oshawa Ont. at Conservative Party headquarters. Erin O’Toole delivered his concession speech in the wake of his party’s defeat. 

“Five weeks ago, Mr. Trudeau asked for a majority. He said the minority Parliament was ‘unworkable.’ But tonight Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted. In fact, Canadians sent him back with another minority at the cost of $600 million and deeper divisions in our great country,” O’Toole said, complaining of what many across the country saw as an unnecessary election.

Voters at the William-Hingston Centre reported a quick and easy process with wait times of up to 10 minutes. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST

Local Support

Long-time Parc-Ex resident Kyriakos Papadakis was at the polling station at the William-Hingston Center on election day. He was proud to have cast his ballot for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I think Mr. Trudeau is very experienced, the most experienced politician in Canada right now,” proclaimed Papadakis. He understood though that many people were tired of the pandemic and may want to vote for a different leader, which he added would not change much.

Papadakis has been a staunch supporter of Trudeau for several years explaining that he felt the Prime Minister had been close to the many cultural communities of Parc-Ex. “Only to wake up and you see outside on the street the Prime Minister of Canada, for me, It’s something,” he declared. 

No substantive change

While many people in Papineau are Trudeau supporters, not all are so fond of the local parliamentarian. Humeyra Karsli also cast her ballot on Tuesday but felt somewhat disillusioned by the political process. 

“The face changes, but I don’t really think it changes much,” said Karsli, adding that real change came from larger policy shifts rather than the election of specific politicians. She added she would like to see the new federal government do more to address local issues in Parc-Extension.

“I hope that it will change things for the better,” said Karsli of Trudeau’s victory, explaining that this could only be accomplished by giving people “the means for change, like better options, better integration for immigrants and more employment opportunities.”

While Elections Canada did say they were experiencing technical difficulties at some polling stations causing long wait times, those interviewed for this article reported a quick and easy process with wait times ranging between 5 and 10 minutes. 

The incumbent candidate in Papineau Justin Trudeau was reelected by a large margin, with a total of 21,872 votes. Photo: Matias Brunet-Kirk – NEWSFIRST