Politics Briefing: Former Green MP Atwin wins Fredericton seat for Liberals – The Globe and Mail

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Former Green MP Jenica Atwin, whose defection to the Liberals precipitated a crisis for the Greens, has been elected as a member of her new party.

According to CBC, Ms. Atwin defeated Conservative Andrea Johnson in a tight race in the riding of Fredericton.

CBC reported today that Ms. Atwin’s lead ticked up to 502 votes over Ms. Johnson as Elections Canada counted mail-in ballots Wednesday morning. CBC’s decision desk projected Atwin the winner. CBC’s report is here.

Ms. Atwin, previously a consultant at a First Nations education centre, was elected in 2019 as the first Green MP in Atlantic Canada, providing a breakthrough for a party that had previously only had MPs from British Columbia.

Ms. Atwin won Fredericton with 34 per cent of the vote in 2019, beating a Conservative candidate who had 30 per cent of the vote. Matt DeCourcey, the Liberal candidate who served as parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, had served a term as MP but placed third in the 2019 race with 27 per cent of the vote.

But Ms. Atiwn joined the Liberals in June after challenging Green Leader Annamie Paul’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East.

Her move to a new party was announced at a press conference with veteran Liberal Dominic LeBlanc, who has been the minister for intergovernmental affairs. There’s a story here on her move.

Meanwhile, the Green candidate in Ms. Atwin’s riding moved from fourth place on Monday night to third as a result of the new count.

The Greens have now won two seats in this week’s election, one of them their first seat in Ontario with the election of Mike Morrice in Kitchener Centre. Former party leader Elizabeth May was also re-elected in B.C.’s Saanich-Gulf Islands. However, the embattled Ms. Paul failed in her bid to win Toronto Centre, placing fourth in the race with 9 per cent of the vote, compared with 50 per cent for Liberal incumbent Marci Ien.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

THE ELECTION

O’TOOLE ANNOUNCES ELECTION REVIEW, BUT FACES NEW CHALLENGE – A day after Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole announced a review of the Tories’ electoral strategy – story here – a Conservative who sits on the party’s national council said Mr. O’Toole should undergo a leadership review by members over the election loss, marking the first open challenge to him staying in the role.

SINGH SAYS HE WILL KEEP JOB – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he’s confident that he will stay on as Leader of the NDP, despite failing to make major seat gains in Monday’s election.

LOW TURNOUT – Voters turned up at the ballot box at the lowest rate in more than a decade to participate in a snap federal election held during the fourth wave of the pandemic, according to preliminary data from Elections Canada.

HOW CANADA VOTED – Alberta bureau chief James Keller takes a deep dive into how Canada voted, and how the parties, regions and issues shaped our next Parliament. ”While this week’s federal election left the country largely where it started, the results reveal small but important changes in where parties are drawing their support and what issues may have driven the outcome.” Story here.

NEW ALBERTA LIBERAL COULD BECOME `VOICE OF THE WEST’ – George Chahal, a well-known former city councillor in Calgary, has won a seat in the Alberta city for the federal Liberals, in a win that political scientist David Taras says could position Mr. Chahal as a “voice of the West” in government. Story here.

HORGAN HAPPY OVER RESULTS? – Rob Shaw of the Daily Hive writes here on why B.C. Premier John Horgan is pleased at the Liberals winning the federal election, calling the outcome “the best-case scenario” for the B.C. NDP government.

CARNEY TAKES LEAD ON ZERO-CARBON-EMISSIONS INITIATIVE – Mark Carney ruled out a run for the Liberals in the just-concluded election campaign, but he has still been busy. He is leading a group of big-name stock exchanges, rating agencies, auditors and index providers intent on focusing their operations on achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Story here.

MEANWHILE

PHOENIX REPLACEMENT UNDER WAY – The federal government has awarded a key contract to start replacing Ottawa’s failed Phoenix payroll system to a leading maker of human-resources software that was developed in Canada.

HEHR OUT OF CALGARY MAYOR’S RUN – Citing health concerns, former Liberal MP Kent Hehr has withdrawn from the race to become Calgary’s mayor.

QUEBEC TO ACT AGAINST ANTI-VACCINE PROTESTS – Quebec Premier François Legault says he will table a bill on Thursday to ban anti-vaccine protests near schools and hospitals.

KENNEY FACING LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is facing growing anger from within his party over his handling of the pandemic, with a pair of MLAs from Mr. Kenney’s United Conservative Party telling The Globe and Mail of plans for a confidence vote in the Premier at today’s caucus meeting. Story here. The Premier says, according to 660 News, that he will not resign over pandemic management. But Don Braid of The Calgary Herald writes here that the “Shandro shuffle” doesn’t quell the party revolt against Mr. Kenney.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

The Prime Minister holds private meetings and participates in a virtual global COVID-19 summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, entitled “Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better Health Security to Prepare for the Next.”

LEADERS

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves‑François Blanchet held a news conference in Montreal.

No details provided on today’s schedules for other party leaders/

OPINION

The Editorial Board of The Globe and Mail on the new age of minority governments:Since 1962, 10 out of 20 federal elections have produced minorities; since 2004, the count is five out of seven. Welcome to the age of the minority government. With the NDP, Greens and Liberals stealing votes from each other, the People’s Party stealing from the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois having stolen from everybody, it is more difficult than ever for any single party to win the magical 170 seats that confers a Parliamentary majority.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on why Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole can’t afford to stop running now: It was an odd thing to hear Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole warning in his wee-hours election-night speech that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to trigger another election in 18 months. One thing that is clear after Monday’s elections is that Mr. Trudeau won’t dare talk about elections for a long time. Another is that Mr. O’Toole absolutely has to talk about elections. The Conservative Leader went from an election campaign to a campaign to keep his leadership without a pause for breath.”

John Doyle (The Globe and Mail) denounces the demonization of the CBC’s Rosemary Barton: It’s a fact that CBC TV news remains a mess and that The National is more likely to make you roll your eyes than feel informed. But Barton is the best of it as it exists now. She made CBC TV’s election coverage bearable, and on election night, she was buoyant, funny and fully engaged. Enough with the sexist, partisan attacks already.”

Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on the looming cold war between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier François Legault: “While Mr. Legault’s penchant for indulging his paternalistic instincts has generally served him well since winning power in 2018 – with Quebeckers praising his strong leadership in protecting the province’s secularist values and managing the pandemic – it backfired on him in this campaign. Mr. Legault went further than any Quebec premier in decades in intervening directly in a federal election campaign. He repeatedly warned Quebeckers against the “dangerous” policies of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who he insisted sought to centralize power in Ottawa.”

Emmanuelle Latraverse (Le Journal de Montréal) on why the Conservative Party problem is not Erin O’Toole: “The marriage of convenience that allowed the Conservatives to win under Stephen Harper no longer exists. I am not talking about the brutal ideological confrontation that is emerging between the social right and the economic conservatives. I am talking about the coalition of available voters. To win, the Conservatives relied on their rural base, and had to break into the remote suburbs of Toronto and Vancouver… The equivalent of Saint-Jérôme and Saint-Hyacinthe. It was these exo-suburbs that paved the way for Stephen Harper’s victory in 2006. On Monday, Erin O’Toole’s troops didn’t win a single one. Worse, they suffered losses.”

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