Former Toronto MP picks up the pieces 1 year after losing 'punch in the gut' election

It’s been a year since Andrew Cash, the former NDP MP for the Toronto riding of Davenport, lost his seat in an election that saw many established politicians swept out of power in a Liberal wave.

Cash, an NDP MP since 2011, says losing his seat in 2015 was like his phone battery going dead

Andrew Cash still lives in the Davenport area after being ousted as its MP last year. (CBC)

It's been a year since Andrew Cash, the former NDP MP for the Toronto riding of Davenport, lost his seat in a federal election that saw many established politicians swept out of power in a Liberal wave.

Cash spoke with Matt Galloway on Metro Morning about what life is like on the other side of politics.

Questions and answers have been condensed.

Matt Galloway: If you go back a year, what was that like when the election results were coming in and it was clear your life was going to change?

Andrew Cash: We had such a big campaign in Davenport, it was incredibly exciting. And just at about 7 p.m. [that night] I caught out of the corner of my eye on twitter that some of my colleagues on the east coast, including Megan Leslie, who I have a huge amount of respect for, had lost. That was really when I started to think okay, something is seriously happening here.

MG: In the days after that, how did you feel?

AC: The whole result was a bit of a punch in the gut at first. But punches in the gut, they hurt and then they go away. I was very aware of this team I had worked with for so long, and I felt a lot of responsibility for helping those folks get through that initial shock. And I have a family, and they had to get through it too.

MG: How quickly did life change after that?

AC: I got into politics to push the issues of precarious employment, especially with regards to freelancers and people who are working serial contracts, so after it was over it felt like I was on an important, dynamic phone conversation and suddenly my battery went dead. The question I asked myself was, is there a way I can continue to do the work? So I started to put the pieces in place so I can keep pushing this issue.

MG: What did you miss most about that life?

AC: When you're in federal politics, you really are at the centre of what is going on in terms of our country. I do believe that partisan politics are deeply important in how we make change. To be right there, it was quite a remarkable experience and a great honour.

MG: Do you regret the time you spent in politics?

AC: No, and neither does my family. I love the community I represented. I still live there, and I love those people, and there's nothing quite like it. On the other hand, there's also nothing quite like being able to walk your kids to school in the morning.

MG: Do you still feel connected to politics?

AC: Yes, because the motivation for why I got into politics is still what's coursing through my veins, and it's what motivates me to do the work I'm doing now with the urban worker project.

MG: Would it lead you back to politics?

AC: It might.

With files from Metro Morning