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2019, all over again?
In this edition: a Liberal minority returns to Ottawa, the two Michaels are free, a new vax policy at Queen's Park
Good Monday evening. Welcome to POLICORNER — your insider’s guide to Canadian politics, policy, and power. The election is over, but the news never stops.
In this 7 minute read, Canada re-elects a Liberal minority government — a look at the results, the nail-biters and the biggest upsets. Plus, the two Michaels return to Canada, calls for Spadina—Fort York’s MP-elect to resign and, a new vaccination policy at the Ontario Legislature.
Ottawa woke up to a very similar political landscape on Tuesday morning. After a 36-day campaign, Justin Trudeau is returning to the Prime Minister’s Office after securing enough seats to form a Liberal minority government.
The first polls closed at 7:00 PM ET in Newfoundland and Labrador, where Minister Seamus O'Regan became the first candidate to win a seat in the election. Polls continued to close periodically across the country until the final polling stations in British Columbia closed at 10:30 PM ET, only moments after the election was called for the Liberals.
The leaders addressed Canadians in the wee hours of the morning. Justin Trudeau declared victory and said Canadians are sending his party back to work “with a clear mandate” to get Canada through the pandemic. Erin O’Toole pledged “to lead Canada's Conservatives to victory” when Trudeau “threatens Canadians with another election in 18 months.” Jagmeet Singh promised to continue “fighting for you, just the same way [the NDP] fought for you in the pandemic.”
The parties are set to return to a House of Commons similar to the one they left — the Liberals are elected in 159 ridings, falling short of the 170 seats needed to form a majority. The Conservatives currently stand at 119 seats, followed by the Bloc Québécois at 33 seats and the NDP at 25 seats. The Green Party is sending two MPs to Ottawa after incumbent Paul Manly failed to secure a victory in Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
Here are the key takeaways from Monday's election.
TWO UPSETS AND A BREAKTHROUGH
Green Party leader Annamie Paul finished fourth to Liberal incumbent Marci Ien in her third attempt to represent Toronto Centre. In Nanaimo-Ladysmith, NDP candidate Lisa Marie Barron is heading to Ottawa after defeating Green incumbent Paul Manly. Green candidate Mike Morrice will become the first Green member of Parliament from Ontario, after defeating Conservative candidate Mary Henein Thorn in Kitchener Centre.
NO MORE NAILS TO BITE
In Davenport, Liberal incumbent Julie Dzerowicz is returning to Ottawa after a nail-biting race that left her with a lead of 165 votes over NDP candidate Alejandra Bravo. Bloc Québécois incumbent Yves Perron defeated former NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau by 988 votes in the central Quebec riding of Berthier-Maskinongé. Brosseau had an early lead, but Perron surged ahead.
In Fredericton, Green-turned-Liberal incumbent Jenica Atwin was re-elected after defeating Conservative candidate Andrea Johnson by 500 votes.
THE LIBERALS RETURN TO ALBERTA
The Liberals were shut out of Alberta in the previous election after failing to win a single seat, but now they’ve won two. George Chahal narrowly defeated Conservative incumbent Conservative Jag Sahota in Calgary Skyview. In Edmonton Centre, Randy Boissonnault, who previously represented the riding, defeated incumbent James Cumming by 616 votes.
FROM THE PINK PALACE TO THE WEST BLOCK
In Thornhill, Conservative Melissa Lantsman is heading to Ottawa after defeating Liberal candidate Gary Gladstone by 7,548 votes. Lantsman previously served as the war room director and spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford’s provincial election campaign. Former provincial cabinet ministers Michael Coteau and Yasir Naqvi were elected in their ridings of Don Valley East and Ottawa Centre.
SHUT OUT OF CABINET
Three cabinet ministers were defeated on Monday night. In Peterborough-Kawartha, Conservative Michelle Ferreri defeated Maryam Monsef, the Minister of Women and Gender Equality. Conservative Anna Roberts defeated Seniors Minister Deb Schulte in King—Vaughan. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan lost in South Shore-St. Margarets, the riding that Conservative Rick Perkins will represent in the House.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Within 7-14 days of the election, the results will be validated. The local returning officer will sign and return the writ to the Chief Electoral Officer, who notifies the Clerk of the House of Commons of those elected. Elected members are then individually sworn in by the Clerk.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior advisors are now tasked with assembling a new cabinet. Cabinet ministers will be sworn in by Governor General Mary May Simon. More from Global News’ David Akin on who may join Trudeau's next cabinet.
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Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor return to Canada after 1,000 days in detention in China.
After a calm day in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's press secretary Alex Wellstead tweeted at 8:01 PM — “at 8:45 PM, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a statement and hold a brief media availability in West Block.”
At 8:50 PM, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau entered the third-floor foyer in the West Block to announce that Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor “left Chinese airspace and are on their way home,” nearly three years after being detained in China.
The announcement came shortly after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou departed for China after reaching an agreement with U.S. prosecutors on fraud charges. Kovrig and Spavor arrived in Calgary around 8 AM ET aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force plane with Dominic Barton, the Canadian ambassador to China, and were greeted by Trudeau and Garneau. Kovrig then flew to Toronto, where he was greeted by his wife Vina Nadjibulla.
In an interview with Global News’ Mercedes Stephenson, Kovrig thanked Canadians for “the enormous support and for all the effort so many people made to bring Michael Spavor and me home.”
Kevin Vuong says he will sit as an independent amid calls for him to resign. Vuong, the MP-elect for Spadina-Fort York was turfed from the Liberal Party days before the election after the Toronto Star reported that he had been charged with sexual assault in 2019, but the charges were later dropped. Vuong’s predecessor, former Liberal MP Adam Vaughan responded to Vuong’s decision saying he “worked hard over the last few days to convince Kevin Vuong to resign,” but Vuong’s statement showed “he is not prepared to do the right thing.” Spadina—Fort York NDP candidate Norm Di Pasquale said in a statement that “while I did not win, [Vuong] forfeited his right to stand as our MP.”
A new policy would require “everyone seeking to enter” the Ontario Legislature to prove their vaccination status or show proof of a recent negative antigen test, according to a memo from Speaker Ted Arnott. In a letter sent to the Speaker, Ontario’s main opposition parties requested a mandatory vaccination policy at Queen's Park that "restricts entry into the precinct to those who are fully vaccinated or a medical exemption.” The Speaker’s response: “access conditions that would have the predictable consequence of eliminating access to Parliament should not be considered.”
Ontario has eased capacity limits for “select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required.” Limits for indoor events have expanded to 50% (or maximum of 10,000 people) and outdoor events to 75% (or maximum of 30,000 people), according to the Ministry of Health.
Ontario is reporting a 2020-21 deficit of $16.4 billion — $22.1 billion lower than the 2020 Budget projection. The province says that expenses were $5.6 billion below the 2020 Budget forecast due to the “uncertainty associated with the course of the pandemic” and because “the third wave of COVID-19 peaked later than expected.” More from the Ministry of Finance.
WHAT WE’RE READING
TVO: “A Tory insider talks candidly about campaign missteps” by Matt Gurney
CBC NEWS: “Premiers call for 'urgent' increase in health-care funding” by Richard Raycraft
TORONTO STAR: “This was the moment that Conservative insiders knew Erin O’Toole would lose the election” by Richard Raycraft
CNN: “Covid-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is safe and shows 'robust' antibody response, Pfizer says” by Madeline Holcombe
In our last edition, we asked which six party leaders participated in the English-language debate during the previous election? The answer — Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, former Green Party leader Elizabeth May and People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier.
ANSWER THIS: What is the name of Ontario’s Minister of Finance? Send your answer to email@example.com.
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