Lucille Collard keeps Liberal streak alive in Ottawa-Vanier
Unofficial results have school board trustee winning central Ottawa riding handily
French school board trustee Lucille Collard is taking over as the Liberal MPP for Ottawa-Vanier.
With unofficial results from Thursday night's byelection counted, Collard, a lawyer and trustee with the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario, will keep the Liberal stronghold in the party's hands.
With 100 per cent of the polls reporting, Collard had 10,404 votes, or 52.2 per cent of the total and 5,373 more votes than her nearest competitor, Myriam Djilane of the NDP.
"I feel very proud," Collard said Thursday night at the pizza pub on Ogilvie Road where she and fellow winner Stephen Blais celebrated their victories.
"I am proud and grateful. I'm really proud that I've got the trust of the residents of Ottawa-Vanier and I will do everything and work very hard to deserve that trust."
The seat was previously held by Nathalie Des Rosiers, who stepped aside last summer to take a post at the University of Toronto's Massey College.
Collard, who has lived in the riding for 35 years, tried to win the party's nomination in 2016 but lost to Des Rosiers.
5 decades of Liberal victories
Her byelection victory is yet another in a long string of wins for the Liberals in the heavily French-speaking riding.
The last time the party lost an election in Ottawa-Vanier was 1967.
Other candidates on the ballot Thursday included Benjamin Koczwarski for the Greens and Patrick Mayangi for the Progressive Conservatives.
Collard's Thursday night victory — along with that of fellow Liberal Stephen Blais in Orléans — means the party remains at eight seats, still short of official party status.
Collard says the party's convention next week is the first step in the reconstruction of the party.
"We need to bring in more people, we need to have many, many, many more conversations with all the residents of Ontario. We're going to rebuild a party that is very strong and that people can identify with," she said.
Voter turnout in the byelection — held on a day when Ottawa was hit by heavy snowfall — was low. Just 19.89 per cent of eligible voters cast their votes in Ottawa-Vanier.