Veteran politician Peter Julian topped the polls in New Westminster-Burnaby – on a night when his party lost Official Opposition status and the Liberal Party of Canada reclaimed prominence in the House of Commons.
The Liberals won a majority government with 184 seats in the House of Commons, while the Conservatives were relegated to Official Opposition with 99 seats. The NDP, which had achieved a record 103 seats in the 2011 federal election, won 44 seats, the Bloc Quebecois had 10 seats and the Green party won one seat. All results are unofficial.
In New Westminster-Burnaby, unofficial results showed Julian won the riding with 22,935 votes (43.5 per cent), besting Liberal candidate Sasha Ramnarine with 15,166 votes (28.8 per cent) and Conservative candidate Chloe Ellis with 10,463 votes (19.8 per cent). Trailing behind were Green party candidate Kyle Routledge with 2,559 votes (4.9 per cent), Libertarian candidate Rex Brock with 1,388 votes (2.6 per cent) and Marxist-Leninist candidate Joseph Theriault with 209 votes.
According to Elections Canada, 52,720 of 79,176 registered electors (66.59 per cent) voted. This doesn’t include electors who registered on election day.
Julian, who had served in a number of prominent positions with the NDP while it was in Official Opposition, is pledging to champion issues like health care in the House of Commons. While he’ll head back to the constituency office today, his Ottawa staff will be moving him out of the Official Opposition house leader’s office.
“That’s where I’ve been for the last couple of years. We planned for that. Before I left in June, we got everything wrapped up,” he said. “In politics you never know.”
Liberal candidate Sasha Ramnarine and Conservative candidate Chloe Ellis, both first time candidates, pledge to carry on now that the campaign is over.
“I do intend to use what I have learned here. I really want to continue to be a passionate advocate for the interests of the New Westminster and Burnaby constituents,” Ellis told the Record. “This is not the last you have seen of me yet.”
While all three of the main parties were in the lead in polls during the 11-week election campaign, the Liberals swept to victory.
“I think there were a lot of outcomes that could have happened,” Ellis said. “I was really rooting for the Conservatives to come out with a majority. I really commend our new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his ability to rally so much support across all of the provinces. I am so excited to see what he is going to do and how he is going to collaborate with the newly elected members of Parliament.”
Ellis said she’s looking forward to seeing how Trudeau is able to lead his caucus and work with other parties.
“This experience has given me hope. Hope for Canadians, hope for our riding,” she said. “It has been difficult, but I am very excited to see what is going to unfold in the future, and I have newfound resolve to continue my pledge and my commitment to voters that they do have a voice and I will be happy to lend my voice to that cause.”