The day after Canada votes, Quebecers mull over who's won, who's lost

Far from having the post-election blues, even voters who saw their candidates lose are mostly OK with the result: a Liberal minority government where the Bloc Québécois will keep watch over Quebec's interests.

Some saw their candidates lose, but they're OK with the result: a Liberal minority where the Bloc keeps watch

Brother and sister Hector and Lise Émond cancelled out each other's vote. Hector voted for the Liberals for the first time, electing Soraya Martinez in Hochelaga. Lise voted Bloc, but she's fine with Martinez's win. (Sudha Krishnan/CBC)

The day after the federal election, Quebecers are looking back at how they cast their ballots and comparing their decision to the outcome.

Far from having the post-election blues, even those who saw their candidates lose are mostly OK with the result: a Liberal minority government where the Bloc Québécois will keep watch over Quebec's interests.

In the Montreal riding of Hochelaga, longtime Bloc Québécois voter Hector Émond opted for Liberal candidate Soraya Martinez after meeting her. 

"She made me change my mind," Émond said. He says he's very happy she got in. 

His sister Lise cancelled out his vote, casting a ballot for the Bloc Québécois in the same riding.

"I've always voted for the Bloc, but they say there will be change with the Liberals, so we'll see," she said. The siblings are ready to give their new MP a couple of years to prove herself, since a minority Liberal government could mean Canadians will be heading back to the polls before too long.

Vanessa Couture voted for the NDP in Hochelaga, but she is not surprised by the Liberal win. She says people voting strategically put the Liberals over the top. (Sudha Krishnan/CBC)

Vanessa Couture, a young mother who also lives in Hochelaga, said although she voted NDP, she's "totally fine" with the Liberal win. 

"I wasn't really surprised," Couture said. She said a lot of people she knew voted strategically.

"I know a lot of people didn't want the Conservatives to win." 

Couture says she was swayed by the NDP's platform on the environment and by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's "charismatic and nice" attitude during the campaign. 

Hoping Bloc does 'watchdog job'

Marc Brochu in Quebec City was hoping for more votes for the Bloc Québécois. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)

Quebec City resident Marc Brochu voted NDP in the 2011 Orange Wave, but otherwise, he's been a Bloc supporter most of his life.

"I'm a bit disappointed," he said of Monday's result. "I was expecting more votes for the Bloc Québécois."

For him, the sovereignty issue never came into it.

"I expect that they do the watchdog job and make sure they do good things for Quebec," he said.

Brochu welcomes the Liberal minority because, he says, it means the party will be kept in check.  

No more referendums, SVP

Diane Gauthier voted in the advance polls and says she worries more seats for the Bloc Québécois could mean another referendum on Quebec sovereignty. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)

Diane Gauthier, 73, who voted in the riding of Beauport–Côte-de-Beaupré–Île d'Orléans–Charlevoix, said she's glad the Liberal Party is getting another four years — but she's watching to make sure Justin Trudeau keeps his promises. 

Gauthier is no fan of the Bloc.

"What scares me about them is that if they come into power it's certain we will have another referendum for separation," she said. 

Quebec can't afford to separate from the rest of the country, Gauthier said, and she'd be very concerned if it did because older Quebecers like her rely on the federal government for their pensions and benefits. 

A Conservative happy about the Liberal minority

Lévis resident Réjean Hamel voted Conservative but got his true wish: he wanted a minority Liberal government. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)

Réjean Hamel from Lévis voted for the Conservative Party because he believes in the candidate in his riding, but he said he was rooting for a Liberal minority government.

"I'm happy with the re-election of a Liberal government," he said. "A minority government is fine."

"We wanted to weaken the government," he said. "Well, I think we weakened it."

Hamel is hoping to see some collaboration between the NDP and Liberals, and he hopes the Bloc Québécois will hold them all to account. 

"It's a good thing that Quebec has a stronger presence in Ottawa," he said. 

Happy for Liberals, proud of Bloc

Huguette Mayrand in Charlesbourg—Haute-St-Charles is satisfied with the election results because she was hoping for a Liberal minority. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)

Huguette Mayrand voted for the Liberal candidate in Charlesbourg–Haute-St-Charles and although her candidate lost to the Conservative incumbent, Pierre Paul-Hus, she got the result she was hoping for — a minority Liberal government.

"I'm happy the Liberals came in, to have stability," she said. "As for the Bloc, I'm proud of them; I'm proud of the result."

"The Bloc is 'Québecois'," she said. "It's more us. I've been hearing Blanchet for a long time — he's calm and level headed."

'Better that it's Liberal'

Gilles Carrier in Lennoxville says he's glad the Liberal Party held strong in the Eastern Townships because he doesn't think the Bloc Québécois is a party for all of Canada. (Spencer Van Dyk/CBC)

In the Eastern Townships, Gilles Carrier said he was not only glad to see the Liberals hold onto their seats in the region, he was glad to see the Bloc Québécois lose.

"That's one thing I can't understand, it's supposed to be for all of Canada," said the lifetime Liberal, who is 73. "At my age, I don't like to have change." 

"I don't like everything Trudeau does, but for around here, I think it's better that it's Liberal."

Larry Cleary, 83, of Lennoxville is another Townshipper who voted Liberal.

Two of the region's ridings, Compton–Stanstead and Brome–Missisquoi, stayed Liberal. 

In a tight race in Sherbrooke, a riding that hasn't been red since 1984, Liberal candidate Elizabeth Brière beat the NDP incumbent, Pierre-Luc Dusseault, by fewer than 600 votes.  

Larry Cleary says he is glad for a Liberal Party win but disappointed the country is more divided than ever after the results. (Spencer Van Dyk/CBC)

Cleary said after the results were out, he was left with the sense of just how divided Canadians are.

"One person said it last night: 'I voted, but it doesn't make a difference because the country is still divided,'" he said.

'Loss of interest' kept him from polls

In the South Shore riding of Longueuil–Saint Hubert, David Goncalves didn't vote due to "loss of interest" but said he was glad to see the Bloc win some seats.  

"It's a good result for the Bloc Québécois, for sure," he said. "Four years ago, I think they only had ten seats. So it's a very good result: it's like the party got a leg up."

Goncalves said he wasn't surprised by how divided the country is, as Monday's results make clear.

"The West is Conservative, like Alberta and Saskatchewan, and over here in Quebec, it's the Bloc."


With files from Marika Wheeler, Sarah Leavitt and Sudha Krishnan


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