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Liberals returned to power with another minority government

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has won enough seats in this 44th general election to form another minority government.

After a 36-day campaign and a $600-million election, the final seat tally doesn't look very different from the composition of the House of Commons when it was dissolved in early August — prompting even more questions about why a vote was called during a fourth wave of the pandemic in the first place.

As of 6:00 a.m. ET, Liberal candidates were leading or elected in 158 ridings, one more than the number of seats that party won in the 2019 contest.

It's a reversal of fortunes for Trudeau. He launched this campaign with a sizeable lead in the polls — only to see his support crater days later as many voters expressed anger with his decision to call an election during this health crisis. Two middling debate performances by Trudeau and renewed questions about past scandals also put a Liberal victory in question.

But in the end, voters decided the Liberal team should continue to govern a country that, while battered and bruised by a health crisis, has also fared well on key pandemic metrics like death rates and vaccine coverage.

In his victory speech in Montreal in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Trudeau said the result suggests Canadians are "sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to brighter days ahead.

WATCH | Canadian federal election night in under 7 minutes: 

Canadian federal election night in under 7 minutes

2 months ago

"The moment we face demands real, important change, and you have given this Parliament and this government clear direction."

After a divisive campaign that saw a great deal of partisan sniping, Trudeau struck a more conciliatory tone on election night when he spoke directly to opposition leaders and those who didn't vote for a Liberal candidate.

"I hear you when you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or about an election," he said. "Your members of Parliament of all stripes will have your back in this crisis and beyond. Canadians are able to get around any obstacle and that is exactly what we will continue to do." Read more on this story here.

Many Canadians waited in long lines for hours to vote

(Jean-Claude Taliana/Radio-Canada)

A lineup formed outside a polling station in La Prairie, Que., on Montreal's South Shore. Elections Canada had warned that lines could be longer this year because of staff shortages and COVID-19 precautions that greatly reduced the number of polling stations. Read more on this story here.

In brief

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole presented himself during the campaign as a more moderate Tory, but the results suggest Canadians didn't buy into the message in a big way. Nevertheless, O'Toole stood by his approach during his concession speech and warned disappointed party members that another snap election could be coming soon. "In the months ahead, as Mr. Trudeau gears up for yet another election, we must continue this journey to welcome more Canadians to take another look at our party," he said in the early hours of Tuesday morning. "We will take stock of what worked and what didn't and we will continue to put in the time showing more Canadians that they are welcome in the Conservative Party of Canada." His warning about a snap election likely was meant as a signal to the Conservative caucus to keep questions about his leadership at bay. Read more from O'Toole here.

WATCH | O'Toole warns of another election under Trudeau: 

O'Toole suggests Trudeau will call another election

2 months ago

The NDP is poised to make a modest gain in seats but will likely remain in fourth place in Parliament and will not hold the balance of power in the projected Liberal minority government. New Democrats are currently leading in 25 ridings, up slightly from the 24 the party won in 2019. Leader Jagmeet Singh won his riding of Burnaby South. "I want you to know our fight for you will continue," Singh said in a late night speech in Vancouver. "You can be sure that we will be there for you, and you can also be sure that if we work together we can build a better society, and that's exactly what New Democrats will do." Read more on how the NDP fared

WATCH | Singh delivers concession speech: 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s full speech following 2021 election results

2 months ago

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul has lost her bid to win Toronto Centre, and while her party's national support has been greatly reduced compared to its 2019 results, it is still sending at least two MPs to Ottawa. Trailing in fourth place, Paul congratulated Liberal incumbent Marci Ien on her re-election. Paul had banked on winning the riding as one key to maintaining her leadership of the Greens. She said she was "disappointed" by the result but did not address her leadership. The party did earn a breakthrough win in Kitchener Centre, where CBC's decision desk called the race for Mike Morrice. It's the party's first election win in Ontario and only the second outside British Columbia. Former leader Elizabeth May won her riding of Saanich–Gulf Islands. Read more on Paul and the Greens here.

WATCH | Paul speaks on election night: 

‘No one likes to lose, but I’m so proud of the effort, the creativity, the innovation that our team brought to this race': Paul

2 months ago

In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois didn't get the 40 seats Leader Yves-François Blanchet bet on, even after a boost from a controversial question in the English-language leaders' debate. The Bloc were on track to take 34 seats in the province, for a gain of two seats. In a speech just after midnight Tuesday, Blanchet criticized Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for calling the election, saying "there were no winners and no losers … just a bunch of people whose barbecues were interrupted and who can't help but ask now, 'What was this all about?'" Read more on the results from Quebec.

WATCH | Next Parliament must work together, Blanchet says: 

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves Francois Blanchet says Parliament must prioritize pandemic

2 months ago

The results so far may not signal a seat breakthrough for the People's Party of Canada (PPC), but the party has more than tripled its support since the last election. The PPC had just over five per cent of the popular vote at last count. The party has notably done better in Ontario, where it has so far garnered just under six per cent of the vote. Party Leader Maxime Bernier failed again to win his Quebec riding of Beauce, but he said he feels vindicated. "This is not just a political party. This is a movement. It is an ideological revolution that we are starting now," Bernier told supporters Monday night in Saskatoon. Read more on the results for the PPC

WATCH | Bernier says he's satisfied with PPC's level of support in the election: 

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier says he’s satisfied with gains made in 2021 election

2 months ago

After surviving 19 months in a Honduran maximum security prison and a nearly four-year legal fight, Honduran human rights activist Edwin Espinal was absolved of all charges last week. The decision followed a lengthy campaign by his in-laws in the town of Elmvale, Ont., about 120 kilometres north of Toronto, featuring two billboards calling him "Elmvale's Edwin Espinal." Though Espinal himself has never been to Canada, his wife, Karen Spring, grew up in Elmvale. Her mother, Janet Spring, launched the local campaign to free her son-in-law after he was arrested with hundreds of others who took to the streets, angry with the country's presidential election results, which they viewed as fraudulent. Espinal was charged alongside another protester, Raul Alvares, whom he'd never met before, for allegedly damaging property and arson. If found guilty, they would have faced a minimum of 12 years in prison, according to Karen. But with no evidence, the National Territorial Jurisdiction Court absolved them both on Friday — a huge relief, she said. Read more on this story here

Now for some good news to start your Tuesday: The international community of disc golfers has suddenly discovered Canada. For that, we should lay down our frisbees and applaud the Moens family. Victoria, B.C.,'s Julie Moens recently brought home a second-place finish in the Amateur World Disc Golf championships. Ted Moens, Julie's dad, won the 60+ age division at the same Orlando, Fla., tournament that Julie charged through last month. A brother and two more disc-throwing Moens sisters are all also playing at elite levels. And Nancy, their mother, is in the mix too. Read more about the disc-throwing family.

Front Burner: Election changes little, Liberal minority continues

After a short election campaign just two years after the last one, Justin Trudeau will continue on as prime minister, and the Liberal Party will maintain its minority position in Parliament.

Today, CBC Parliamentary Bureau's Aaron Wherry breaks down the results and what they could mean for each of the major parties.

Today in history: September 21

1911: The federal Conservatives under Robert Borden oust Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Liberals in a hotly contested election. The key issue was free trade with the U.S., which the Liberals supported.

1937: J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is first published.

1981: The U.S. Senate unanimously confirms the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

2010: Hurricane Igor rips across eastern Newfoundland with a savagery that forces flooded, wind-battered towns to declare states of emergency, isolating some communities as rivers overflowed and washed away roads. It dumps nearly 240 mm of rain in some areas and causes over $150 million in total damage.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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