Paul Dewar loses only NDP seat in Ottawa to Liberal steamroller
Catherine McKenna wins in tight race with veteran Ottawa MP
Ottawa Centre will have a Liberal MP for the first time in 11 years after the party took the riding from high-profile NDP MP Paul Dewar.
Dewar, the son of former Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar and a prominent foreign affairs critic in the NDP's shadow cabinet, lost to the Liberals' Catherine McKenna.
With 67 per cent of the polls reporting, McKenna was declared the winner with a lead of nearly 2,500 votes.
<a href="https://twitter.com/PaulDewar">@PaulDewar</a> concession speech. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottnews?src=hash">#ottnews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/elxn42?src=hash">#elxn42</a> <a href="https://t.co/3p9LulwkVq">pic.twitter.com/3p9LulwkVq</a>—@stevefischercbc
Analysts had declared Ottawa Centre one of the NDP's safest ridings at the beginning of the campaign. Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent won the riding in 2004, and after he retired Dewar won it in 2006 and has been the riding's MP ever since.
In 2011, he won by nearly 20,000 votes.
During his concession speech Monday night, Dewar repeatedly thanked his team for working hard, and remembered some of the people he met in the campaign who needed more help.
"I remember all of these stories, and I know ... why I got involved in politics was to make a difference in their lives," Dewar said. "And when I think of what happened during this campaign around the Syrian refugee crisis, I know that that's something we're going to make a difference on, and we're going to make sure we open our doors, our minds, our hearts. And that will not stop because I was defeated; that work will be continued because of everyone in this room.
"In fact, let's celebrate tonight, because it's the end of cynicism, it's the end of Harper, it's a joyous occasion," he added.
"It's time to have peace, good government, to celebrate public servants, to say we will respect you. ... We want fervent passion to replace fear. We want enlightened debate and discussion to replace wedge politics. And we want to do it with each other."
'He's been a real inspiration,' McKenna says of Dewar
McKenna, meanwhile, was introduced at her victory party by her provincial Liberal counterpart in Ottawa Centre, MPP Yasir Naqvi.
She thanked her team for a hard-fought campaign that began 522 days earlier after she won the Liberal nomination in the riding. They knocked on 100,000 doors, made 30,000 phone calls and raised more money than any other riding association in the country, she said.
"You guys are amazing. No one believed we could do it, but we showed them. We showed everyone that politics matters, and we showed everyone that better is possible," McKenna said.
She also thanked the candidates who fought against her, especially Dewar.
"We made this campaign about ideas, not about divisive politics here in Ottawa Centre. So I really want to thank Paul Dewar. He's been an amazing MP, he's been a real inspiration, and I've got really big shoes to fill and I promise I will work super hard to do that."