The Liberal Party yesterday won its first majority government in fifteen years. Returns in the expanded 338-seat Commons were 184 Liberals; 99 Conservatives; 44 New Democrats; 10 Bloc Québecois MPs; and one Green Party MP.
The government under Stephen Harper lost 67 seats from the 2011 campaign, marking the first time since 1935 that a Conservative leader won a single-term majority and was then driven from office by a Liberal majority. More than a dozen senior Conservative cabinet members, parliamentary secretaries and committee chairs were defeated. In returns by province:
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR — Liberals swept all seven ridings with the Conservative vote collapsing to fewer than 27,000. Among notable losses: Peter Penashue, former Conservative Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, defeated again in Labrador by Liberal MP Yvonne Jones. Penashue resigned in 2013 over irregularities in campaign financing, and lost a subsequent byelection to Jones, a former provincial Liberal leader. Jones yesterday won Labrador by 7,000 votes.
MP Jack Harris, New Democrat defence critic, was narrowly defeated in St. John’s East, a riding he’d first won in a 1987 byelection. The former provincial NDP leader lost the riding to Liberal lawyer Nick Whalen of McInnes Cooper LLP, by 700 votes.
New Democrat MP Ryan Cleary, a former newspaperman, lost his bid for a second term in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl. The riding was won by Liberal candidate Seamus O’Regan, a former host of CTV’s Canada AM.
Two-term MP Scott Andrews, the party’s former ethics critic, was defeated in Avalon. Andrews was ejected from the Liberal caucus in 2014 on allegations of sexual misconduct; he denied wrongdoing and was never charged with any offence. Andrews campaigned as an independent and lost to Liberal candidate Ken McDonald, former mayor of Conception Bay South, by more than 16,000 votes.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND — Liberals won all four Island ridings as the Conservative vote fell to less than 17,000, nearly half its support in 2011. Two-term Conservative MP Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries, was defeated in Egmont by Liberal candidate Bobby Morrissey, a longtime provincial legislator and former Island transport minister.
NOVA SCOTIA — Liberals won 11 of 11 ridings. Notable losses included two-term Conservative MP Scott Armstrong, parliamentary secretary for labour, defeated in Cumberland-Colchester by Liberal Bill Casey, a former six-term MP for the riding. Casey was first elected as a Conservative, then expelled from caucus in 2007 after opposing a federal budget.
In Halifax, New Democrat environment critic Megan Leslie lost by 8,000 votes to Liberal Andy Filmore, an urban planner. In Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, New Democrat fisheries critic Robert Chisholm lost to Liberal Darren Fisher, a municipal councillor.
In Sackville, New Democrat veterans’ affairs critic Peter Stoffer was defeated after 18 years in the Commons. The riding was won by Liberal Darrell Samson, superintendent of Nova Scotia’s only French-language school board.
NEW BRUNSWICK — Liberals won all 10 ridings in the province. Notable losses were Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, defeated in Madawaska-Restigouche. Valcourt held the riding for three terms. He finished third, more than 13,000 votes behind Liberal lawyer René Arsenault.
Keith Ashfield, former Conservative fisheries minister, was defeated in Fredericton by Matt DeCourcey, a former Liberal aide. Ashfield sought re-election after undergoing treatment for cancer in 2013 and 2014. He lost by 9,600 votes.
Rob Moore, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, was defeated in Fundy Royal after four terms. Moore lost to Liberal candidate Alaina Lockhart, a Sussex, N.B. wedding planner.
Robert Goguen, parliamentary secretary for justice, was defeated by more than 10,000 votes in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe by Liberal Ginette Petitpas Taylor, former chair of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
QUEBEC — Of 78 seats in the province Liberals won 44; Conservatives 12; and Bloc Québécois ten. New Democrats that swept 59 seats in Québec four years ago saw their provincial caucus dwindle to a dozen ridings.
Hoang Mai, New Democrat transport critic, was defeated in Brossard-Saint Lambert. Mai lost by 4,000 votes to Alexandra Mendes, former Liberal MP for the riding.
In Gatineau, New Democrat justice critic Françoise Boivin lost by 9,000 votes to Steve MacKinnon, a former Liberal aide and public relations executive at Hill & Knowlton. Boivin was twice elected in the riding, and had been a leading critic of Conservative security and crime bills.
Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel, a former acting leader of the party in 2011, was defeated by more than 8,000 votes. Turmel lost to Greg Fergus, a former national director of the Liberal Party.
In Laurier-Sainte-Marie Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe lost a bid to return to the House after winning just 29 percent of the vote. Duceppe was beaten by incumbent MP Hélène Laverdière, New Democrat Deputy House Leader.
Pontiac MP Mathieu Ravignat, New Democrat Treasury Board critic, was defeated after one term. Ravignat lost by 12,000 votes to Will Amos, a director of the University of Ottawa’s Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic.
ONTARIO — Of 121 ridings results were Liberals 80; Conservatives 33; New Democrats 8. Fifteen prominent Conservatives were defeated in the near-Liberal sweep, including senior members of cabinet.
Finance Minister Joe Oliver lost his Eglinton-Lawrence riding to Liberal candidate Marco Mendocino, a Crown prosecutor. Mendocino claimed the upset by 3,000 votes. Oliver at age 74 was the oldest finance minister to serve in any federal cabinet since 1925.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander was defeated by 10,000 votes in Ajax, Ont. Winner Mark Holland had been the three-term Liberal MP for the riding beaten by Alexander in 2011.
Alexander’s parliamentary secretary for immigration, MP Costas Menegakis, was also defeated in his own riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill. The seat was won by Liberal Leona Alleslev, a former logistics officer for the RCAF.
MP Paul Calandra, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, lost Markham-Stoufville by 3,500 votes to Dr. Jane Philpott, associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Family & Community Medicine. Calandra was named the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary after his predecessor, Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro, was found guilty and jailed for election financing irregularities.
MP Julian Fantino, associate defence minister, lost in Vaugh-Woodbridge by 2,000 votes to Liberal Franceso Sorbara, a Bay Street bond analyst.
MP Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science, lost London West after two terms. Holder lost by 7,000 votes to Liberal Kate Young, a longtime news anchor on London’s CFPL-TV.
MP Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario, lost the Cambridge riding he had held for four terms. Goodyear was defeated by Liberal Bryan May, a community organizer.
MP Bal Gosal, Minister of State for Sport, lost by 5,000 votes in Brampton Centre to Liberal candidate Ramesh Sangha, an immigration lawyer and former chair of the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal.
MP Parm Gill, parliamentary secretary for trade, was defeated in Brampton North after one term. The riding yesterday elected Liberal lawyer Ruby Sahota by a 7,000 vote majority.
MP Jeff Watson, parliamentary secretary for transport, lost by 3,000 votes in his Essex riding in southern Ontario. Watson was beaten by New Democrat candidate Tracey Ramsey, a Unifor organizer and Ford Motor Co. employee.
MP Bob Dechert, parliamentary secretary for justice, was defeated by 5,000 votes in Mississauga-Erin Mills. The riding was won by Liberal candidate Iqra Khalid, counsel for the City of Mississauga. As parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs in 2011, Dechert apologized after sending love notes to an employee of the Chinese state-run Xinhua press agency.
MP Ted Opitz, a one-termer whose election four years ago was contested at the Supreme Court, was defeated by 8,000 votes in Etobicoke Centre. The riding elected Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj, an incumbent MP who narrowly lost to Opitz in 2011 amid complaints of voting irregularities. Wrzesnewskyj lost a 2012 Supreme Court appeal that confirmed “errors” occurred at several polling stations.
MP Daryl Kramp, chair of the Commons public safety committee, was narrowly defeated in Hastings-Lennox & Addington. Kramp, a former Ontario Provincial Police officer, held the riding for four terms. He lost by 400 votes to Mike Bossio, a telecom consultant.
MP Roxanne James, parliamentary secretary for public safety, lost Scarborough Centre by 6,000 votes to Salma Zahid, a Liberal advisor with the Province of Ontario. James held the riding for a single term.
MP Rick Dykstra, parliamentary secretary for heritage, lost St. Catharines by 3,000 votes to Liberal Chris Bittle, a litigator. Dykstra previously held the riding for three terms. Among notable New Democrats losses in the province:
- • MP Paul Dewar, foreign affairs critic and formerly a 2012 candidate for the party leadership, was defeated in Ottawa Centre by 3,000 votes. The riding was won by Catherine McKenna, a Liberal lawyer and former counsel to U.N. peacekeeping missions.
- • Peggy Nash, New Democrat industry critic and another former candidate for the 2012 leadership, lost her bid for a third term in Parkdale-High Park. Nash lost by 2,000 votes to Arif Virani, a Liberal aide and constitutional lawyer.
- • Andrew Cash, New Democrat consumer affairs critic, was upset by a thousand votes in Davenport by former Liberal aide Julie Dzerowicz;
- • MP Matthew Kellway, infrastructure critic, was defeated by 7,000 votes in Beaches-East York by Liberal litigator Nathaniel Erskine-Smith;
- • MP Craig Scott, New Democrat parliamentary reform critic, lost Toronto-Danforth after one term. Scott lost by 1,000 votes to Julie Dabrusin, Liberal candidate and former litigator with Rogers Partners LLP.
MANITOBA — Of fourteen seats in the province, Conservatives won five; Liberals 7; and New Democrats two. Notable losses included: Stephen Fletcher, formerly Minister of State for Transport, defeated in Charleswood by 6,000 votes to Liberal candidate Dr. Doug Eyolfson, an emergency room physician. Fletcher in 2011 was the first quadriplegic elected to the House of Commons following injuries suffered in an auto accident.
MP Pat Martin, former New Democrat public works critic, lost Winnipeg Centre after representing the riding for 18 years. Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette, a former Sergeant at Arms with the artillery, won the riding by 8,000 votes.
SASKATCHEWAN — Returns in 14 ridings saw Conservatives elect 10; Liberals one; and New Democrats 3, after being shut out of Saskatchewan in the 2011 campaign. Incumbent Conservative Rob Clarke, a former RCMP sergeant, lost Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River to the NDP by a thousand votes. Clarke held the riding for three terms. He was defeated by Georgina Jolibois, former Mayor of La Loche, Sask.
ALBERTA — With a record number of seats, 34, Albertans elected 29 Conservatives; four Liberals; and 1 New Democrat. Among notable defeats:
- • Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, narrowly defeated by 80 votes in Edmonton Mill Woods after two terms; the riding was won by Liberal candidate Amarjeet Sohi, an Edmonton city councillor;
- • MP Joan Crockatt, former managing editor of the Calgary Herald, lost re-election in Calgary Centre by 700 votes. The riding was won by Liberal Kent Hehr, former counsel with Fraser Milner Casgrain and two-term member of the legislature;
- • MP Devinder Shory lost by 2,000 votes in Calgary Skyview to Liberal Darshan Singh Kang, a former realtor and member of the Alberta assembly;
Alberta returns also saw the defeat of MP Brent Rathgeber, running as an independent in St. Albert-Edmonton. The incumbent lost by 15,000 votes to Conservative candidate Michael Cooper, an Edmonton litigator; Rathgeber quit the Conservative caucus in 2014 after cabinet blocked his private bill to disclose salaries paid to top civil servants.
BRITISH COLUMBIA — Of 42 seats in the province, returns saw 17 Liberals; 13 New Democrats; 11 Conservatives; and a single Green MP, leader Elizabeth May re-elected in Saanich-Gulf Islands. The only other Green MP, Bruce Hyer, was defeated in Thunder Bay-Superior North, Ont. by Liberal Patty Hajdu, by 14,000 votes. Hyer finished fourth in his constituency.
Among notable B.C. losses: Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay, ousted by 9,000 votes in Delta by Liberal candidate Carla Qualtrough, vice-chair of the provincial Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. Findlay held the riding for a single term.
MP John Duncan, in the Commons since 1993 and Chief Government Whip, was defeated by 7,000 votes in Courtenay-Alberni. The riding was won by New Democrat Gord Johns, a Tofino councillor.
Andrew Saxton, parliamentary secretary for finance, was defeated by 18,000 votes in North Vancouver by Liberal Jonathan Wilkinson, a management consultant. Saxton had held the riding for two terms.
TERRITORIES — Yukon Conservative incumbent Ryan Leef, narrowly elected in 2011, lost by 6,000 votes to returning Liberal MP Larry Bagnell. In Northwest Territories, incumbent New Democrat Dennis Bevington lost to Liberal Michael McLeod, a former territorial legislator, by 3,000 votes. In Nunavut, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq was defeated by 3,000 votes by Hunter Tootoo, Liberal, former Speaker of the territorial assembly.