Liberal ground lost in Atlantic Canada portends difficult election end

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OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau’s Liberals clung to a dominant position in Atlantic Canada on Monday, but the Conservatives’ modest gains in the region seemed to portend a fierce end to the federal election campaign.

OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau’s Liberals clung to a dominant position in Atlantic Canada on Monday, but the Conservatives’ modest gains in the region seemed to portend a fierce end to the federal election campaign.

Early results saw the Liberals win 23 of the 32 seats up for grabs in the four easternmost provinces, three short of the 2019 election, although some competitions were very close.

The Conservatives led by nine points, down from four they won in 2019, and were showing particular strength in Nova Scotia, where the provincial Liberal government was recently upset by the Progressive Conservatives.

Ministers Trudeau Seamus O’Regan, Dominic LeBlanc and Lawrence MacAulay were sailing for victory.

But Bernadette Jordan, who served as fisheries minister, was chasing her Tory rival in South Shore – St. Margarets, obviously hurt by the lobster fishing dispute between native and non-native fishermen in the area.

In Fredericton, New Brunswick, Jenica Atwin, the former Green MP who defected from the Liberals last spring, was in a close and see-saw battle with the Conservatives.

Green support has largely collapsed across the region.

With polls suggesting a standoff across Canada between the Liberals and the Conservatives – neither of them within reach of the majority – each of the country’s 338 ridings will count.

Trudeau ended his minority Liberal government on August 15, just under two years after Canadians first reduced the Liberals to a minority.

He argued that Canada is at a pivotal point in history and that Canadians deserve a chance to decide how they want to end the fight against COVID-19 and rebuild the shattered economy.

But the timing of his election call, coming as a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus began to sweep the country, quickly undermined the goodwill Trudeau had built among Canadians for his government’s handling of the pandemic over the past 18 years. previous months.

And it gave rival leaders an opening to attack Trudeau’s character, portraying him as a selfish egotist who cannot be trusted to put the interests of Canadians ahead of his personal ambition for a majority.

Elections Canada said nearly 6.8 million people voted early, most in advance more than a week ago, and the rest by special ballots dropped by mail or at Elections Canada offices .

Canada has over 30 million eligible voters.

Elections Canada previously warned that the pandemic could lead to longer wait times for voters compared to previous elections. Public health protocols involve keeping people at bay and collecting additional information for contact tracing purposes, which could take longer.

The polling stations themselves were also likely to be further away, as many schools and landlords chose not to accommodate crowds of voters during the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Elections Canada encouraged voters to wear masks, but only required them in places where they were mandated by provincial rules. Proof of vaccination regulations do not apply to polling stations in provinces where they currently exist.

George Walker voted in Toronto on Monday afternoon. He called the experience “soft” and called the security measures taken at the polling station “wise”.

“But it took longer than in the past, mainly because of COVID,” Walker said, adding that he didn’t mind waiting another 15 minutes.

Shannon Fernandez said voting on Election Day was “super easy”, “stress free” and “very easy”.

“I felt it was very well organized,” added Fernandez. “No complaints at all.”

Polling stations are open for 12 hours, but hours of operation vary by region, starting as early as 7 a.m. PST in British Columbia and until 9:30 a.m. EDT in Ontario and most parts of Quebec.

Most of the constituency winners will be known by the end of the evening, but Elections Canada has warned that it could take up to four days to complete the counting of all special ballots, which means some races tight may not have official winners for several days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press




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