The majority of voters in North Island-Powell River swam against the Liberal tide flooding the rest of the country and elected NDP candidate Rachel Blaney as their Member of Parliament tonight.
With 40 per cent of the vote – 22,836 votes (update: as of 8:23 a.m. Oct. 20) – Blaney delivered a victory speech at the Campbell River Labour Centre to a room of supporters happy with a North Island-Powell River victory, ecstatic that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party has been shown the door but subdued about the NDP collapse nationally.
“So, what a hard night of mixed emotions,” Blaney said. “You know, I am so excited. I am so excited to work hard for North Island-Powell River. I am so excited that this riding chose positive change. I am so happy.
“And I am so incredibly proud of Tom Mulcair who has lead us in tremendous ways and who has shown himself to be an amazing leader. And I am so sorry that there was a mistake in the change choice. Thats just how I’m going to see it.”
Blaney was referring to the assessment that Canadian voters wanted change from the Harper Conservatives and decided that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party was the vehicle to provide that change. She would, obviously, have preferred that voters go with the NDP as the engine of change in Canadian politics. Nationally, the Liberals were leading or elected in 184 seats, the Conservatives 102 seats, the NDP 41, the Bloc Quebecois 10 and the Green Party 1. The results swept the Liberals into a majority government and swept the NDP out of the opposition, relegating the Conservatives to that role.
The Liberal wave began in Atlantic Canada and swept across the nation with islands of Conservative, NDP and Bloc Quebecois victories here and there in central Canada, a Conservative wall in the southern prairies, Alberta and the Interior of B.C. before washing over a NDP strip on the far west coast, including Vancouver Island.
Blaney will be joined on the NDP side of the house by Gord Johns who defeated long time Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan who chose to run in the newly-formed Courtenay-Alberni riding which was created along with North Island-Powell River.
Blaney thanked her family and election team profusely and paid tribute to her competitors, Conservative Laura Smith, Liberal Peter Schwarzhoff and Green candidate Brenda Sayers.
Blaney said she and her team will be out in Ottawa fighting to make sure the Liberals “do their job.”
“We’re going to fight hard for things like affordable child care,” she said. “We are going to fight hard for appropriate health care. We know what our communities need and I will be out there fighting for that. We are also going to be out fighting for good jobs, especially in communities like ours that have been left behind.”
Watch www.campbellrivermirror.com for more as well as Wednesday’s print edition of the Campbell River Mirror.
The numbers (as of 8:24 a.m. Oct 20):
- Rachel Blaney, NPD – 22,836 votes; 40 per cent.
- Laura Smith, Conservative – 14,960; 26.2 per cent.
- Peter Schwarzhoff, Liberal – 14,527; 25.6 per cent.
- Brenda Sayers, Green – 4,749; 8.3 per cent.
Rachel Blaney is given a congratulatory hug by North Island MLA Claire Trevena.