Federal Election 2015: Wayne Easter wins Malpeque riding
Incumbent holds 22-year grip on Malpeque in P.E.I. Liberal sweep
Incumbent Liberal Wayne Easter called his win in the riding of Malpeque "humbling" as he addressed supporters at the Cornwall Civic Centre Monday night.
'This one is the biggest victory ever."- Malpeque MP Wayne Easter
"This one is the biggest victory ever," he said, thanking his wife Helen. "We turned the Island Liberal red."
He will join fellow Liberals Bobby Morrissey, Lawrence MacAulay and Sean Casey in Ottawa as P.E.I. and the entire Atlantic region went red.
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Initial results had Easter taking 62.1 per cent of votes. The results won't be official until Elections Canada confirms the numbers.
Conservative Stephen Stewart trailed with 17.6 per cent, the NDP's Leah-Jane Hayward at 11.2 per cent, and Lynne Lund with just 9.2 per cent for the Greens.
Easter credited the victory in part to Justin Trudeau.
"A new young leader who wants to take a different approach to politics. You never seen any negative ads from Justin Trudeau. He didn't play in that fear and division that's become the norm in Canadian politics, " said Easter.
"He talked about hope and opportunity."
2011 a close race for Easter
Easter, 66, entered politics in 1993, making him a veteran political player.
He came within 671 votes of losing the riding of Malpeque in the last election to the Conservative contender at the time, Tim Ogilvie.
The 2011 results: Easter took 8,605 votes (42.4%), Ogilvie 7,934 (39.1%), the Greens Peter Bevan Baker 785 (3.9%) and Rita Jackson with the NDP 2,970 (14.6%).
Easter won by fewer than a thousand votes in 2009 too.
What was different this time? A couple of things, according to Easter.
"This is the first election in three that Stephen Harper didn't send in a team to target me." he said. "I was on the top three of his hit list in the last two elections."
He said anti-Harper sentiment helped too.
"Part of doing much better this time is people have seen the real Harper government for what it is and they want to turn that government out."
Malpeque was, however, the only P.E.I. riding Stephen Harper visited. In September in a potato warehouse in New Annan, Harper promised to invest $20 million in Canada's lobster industry over three years.
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Under a Liberal majority government, Easter says the Liberals will re-build a Canada that people can be proud of.
"I think we're back to the kind of Canada that we've traditionally known, a Canada that believes in multiculturalism, that believes in working for it's people, a Canada that is seen as a peace-maker and a nation-builder."
The riding of Malpeque includes eastern Prince County and most of Queens County. Major communities include Cornwall, Kensington, Borden-Carleton, North Rustico and Cavendish. The population is just over 35,000.
With files from the CBC's Brian Higgins