Liberals win symbolic victories in Western Canada

They’re not the West’s best. But the Liberals scored big Prairie wins, anyway.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau arrives at a campaign rally in Calgary, Alberta, October 18, 2015. Canadians will go to the polls in a federal election on October 19. REUTERS/Chris Wattie - RTS5032

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau arrives at a campaign rally in Calgary, Alberta, October 18, 2015. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Looking at the electoral map of Western Canada it’s hard not to hear the words of another prime minister: “Well, welcome to the 1980s,” Pierre Trudeau declared after the 1980 election. Geographic divisions were clear then, and they still are today.

It’s hard to imagine a world in which the prairie west doesn’t vote along historical patterns; there, the right’s vote share has been climbing in every election since 1988. And 2015 was no different. The new Liberal government, however, notched a major symbolic win in Stephen Harper’s home turf. In Calgary, where many still harbour resentment over Pierre Trudeau’s much-reviled National Energy Program, former Liberal MLA Darshan Kang captured Calgary–Skyview. It was the party’s first win since 1968; and, as of midnight Pacific time, the Liberals remained locked in a tight battle in Calgary Confederation.

In bellwether cities like Winnipeg and Vancouver, the Liberals did very well. In Manitoba’s capital, where the party was reduced to a single seat in 2011, the Liberals clinched seven of eight seats, knocking off the NDP’s Pat Martin, who has held Winnipeg Centre since 1997. In St. James, they toppled popular incumbent Steven Fletcher, who has held the riding since 2004.

In B.C., where the Liberals were reduced to just two seats in 2011, the party was able to clinch major wins, particularly in the suburban Lower Mainland. The Liberals also brought in a host of new stars in diehard Tory territory, including former West Vancouver mayor Pam Goldsmith-Jones. After taking out two-term incumbent John Weston last night, Goldsmith-Jones received a bouquet of red flowers from artist and local resident Douglas Coupland. Former Rhodes scholar and businessman Jonathan Wilkinson also beat out Conservative backbencher Andrew Saxton in West Vancouver.

The Tories will be closely analyzing these results, trying to determine whether they mark a rollback on the Conservatives’ ethnic efforts dashed by divisive anti-Muslim strategies.

In Fleetwood–Port Kells, public relations veteran Ken Hardie knocked off Nina Grewal, who has held the riding for a decade; and Sukh Dhaliwal took Surrey–Newton from the NDP. The Liberals are even leading in Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam, a riding carved out of Minister James’s Moore former seat.

It was also a big and historic night on First Nations communities. A number of First Nations, including Onigaming, Moose Factory, Kashechewan, Siksika and Lake St. Martin actually ran out of ballots. And the rising First Nations stars like Jody Wilson-Raybould, a We Wai Kai former prosecutor and Regional Chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, and Robert-Falcon Ouellette, a Cree university administrator, both stormed to victory in decisive victories in Vancouver and Winnipeg.

In Nunavut, Hunter Tootoo knocked off federal Environment Minister Conservative Leona Aglukkaq, capping off a Liberal sweep of the country’s three northernmost ridings.


Liberals win symbolic victories in Western Canada

  1. “They’re not the West’s best”


    What kind of remark is that?

  2. And also a tangible Majority gvmt, Nancy. They told me I was the last person to cross an uncrossable bog in 101 years. And because of oil, there hadn’t been anyone else brave in Western Canada since Patulla, who helped stimulate consumer spending in the GD (and whose troops won the most V.Crosses subsequently). They called him McKay. I guess it works for Canada; I never understood that giving people welfare without forcing treatment for mental illnesses, breeds mental illnesses, because I used it to read. I became the smartest in this land in 2003 reading after having my hours seasonally cut to nothing. And I learned even smart rich people are corrupted by money. Which is a main reason CPC’s tax lowering policies are wrong (drilling for oil does not create much wealth). For spillover jobs, they gave me a multiplier of 1.3 for $100000/yr salary (a summer job), 2.1x for a million dollar salary (one median job he creates), and a billion dollar annual salary creates 300 jobs/yr. So in addition to AGW, and a not very employment intensive industry, and lobbying against science education and the skill of learning facts, and not saving a Norway-like investment fund, and not building counter-cyclical (manufacturing) thermoplastic refineries… the Western cdn platform fails because making more rich people doesn’t make more jobs. But the CPC final budget was its best, and the future hasn’t been 9-11-ed or Commied:
    BC is ill enough not to locate a anti-pandemic infrastructure. Wpg, Mtl, Toronto, Hamilton all good. Wpg never funded enough universities. To cure diseases: all above but Wpg. To prevent AI requires for starters, quantum computers/encryption. There are 7 good centres and one is indeed a little Halifax centre.
    I guess Q-of-L. is nebulous. The CPC attacking Al-Qaida’s offshoot indeed support Q-of-L. I suppose one decade a mentally ill cell leader of theirs will unleash bioterror. I guess a mentally ill bioresearcher in a lab may effect the same. I suppose the USA’s Security Agency’s need new bio-administrator flowchart to minimize this risk, and the ideas won’t come from people that believe too strongly in religious texts, can’t grasp evolution or AGW, can’t see the need for low-income housing (oddly enough infected China will be part of the chicken-less solution but Vancouver’s West End will be part of the problem)…the Liberals for the 2007 and 2011 election were indeed part of the cheapest solutions needed to prevent Revelations…
    They told me 6 England hospitals are better than St.B because England covers only the needed procedures. Indeed, by covering fewer procedures, they deliver more/faster. I will be suggesting anti-pandemic infrastructures to fund. AB would’ve been my primary focus to keep healthy and rich with cutting edge jobs, but they raiding their Fund instead of building it up when they had the best tax base, as have other cities of course. Apparently Trudeau is too catholic to be one of the best 210 people at preventing existential risks, but is still the 2nd best MP for the job.

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