Politics

The surprise upsets, dramatic losses and nail-biting races of election night

The post-election makeup of the House of Commons looks a lot like it did when Parliament was dissolved for the election in August — another minority Liberal government — but the campaign saw a few surprises and interesting races along the way.

The campaign didn't change much, but it had some interesting moments

A worker organizes bins labelled with the names of candidates into which special ballots from national, international, Canadian Forces and incarcerated electors will be placed and counted, at Elections Canada's distribution centre in Ottawa on election night Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

The post-election makeup of the House of Commons looks a lot like it did when Parliament was dissolved for the election in August — another minority Liberal government — but the campaign saw a few surprises and interesting races along the way.

Cabinet ministers

One thing is certain: the next cabinet will look different, now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to replace three ministers.

According to CBC's projections Tuesday, Bernadette Jordan — who at dissolution was the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard — won't be returning as a cabinet minister after losing her Nova Scotia riding of South Shore–St. Margarets to Conservative Rick Perkins.

Bernadette Jordan, previously the minister of fisheries and oceans, lost her seat in Nova Scotia. (CBC)

In Ontario, the riding of Peterborough–Kawartha has lost its reputation as a bellwether: Maryam Monsef, previously the minister for women and gender equality, trailed behind Conservative Michelle Ferreri.

Since 1965, the candidate elected in Peterborough–Kawartha has almost always been a member of the party that went on to form the government.

Maryam Monsef, right, seen here with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019, will not return as minister for women and gender equality after losing in the Ontario riding of Peterborough–Kawartha. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Monsef's Ontario colleague also won't be rejoining the cabinet table. CBC decision desk projects that the Conservatives' Anna Roberts has defeated Seniors Minister Deb Schulte in King–Vaughan.

Former Green MP returns as Liberal

It was down to the wire, but Jenica Atwin, the former Green MP for Fredericton who crossed the floor to the Liberals earlier this year, will return to Ottawa.

Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin is returning to the House as a Liberal, after she was re-elected following her floor crossing from the Green Party earlier this summer. (Jon Collicott/CBC)

She cited distractions within the Green Party, including internal disagreements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as part of her reason for leaving.

The Greens have now officially lost their footing in Atlantic Canada, an area they were hoping to make gains in following their 2019 breakthrough and successes at the provincial level.

Atwin squeaked out a win over the Conservative candidate by 502 votes Wednesday morning.

Outrage with Toronto winner

Former Liberal candidate Kevin Vuong won his Toronto riding by a margin of 2,094 votes over the NDP candidate. It was a close-fought race after the Liberals cut ties with Vuong over a sexual assault charge that was later dropped. He said he plans to sit as an Independent.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped Vuong as a candidate two days before the election — too late to remove his name from the ballot. 

Outrage is mounting online over his decision to sit in the House of Commons.

Vuong said those who voted for him are counting on him to serve. But some Spadina-Fort York constituents said online that they cast their ballots for Vuong in the advance polls before learning about the sexual assault charge and now want to take their votes back.

Upsets

It was a night to forget for the Green Party, but Greens still had something to celebrate — candidate Mike Morrice was projected to win the riding of Kitchener Centre by a considerable margin.

Liberal incumbent Raj Saini ended his bid for re-election there amid allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denies.

Conservative support dipped slightly in fortress Alberta. While the majority of the province will be represented by a Conservative MP, there were two upsets.

Kitchener Centre candidate Mike Morrice poses with Green Leader Annamie Paul in downtown Kitchener, Ont., on Sept. 15. ( Josette Lafleur/CBC)

In 2019, the Liberals were completely shut out of Alberta, but Liberal candidate George Chahal — who served as a Calgary city councillor for four years after a career in the financial sector — flipped Calgary Skyview red.

In Edmonton Griesbach, the NDP's Blake Desjarlais wrestled victory from two-term Conservative MP Kerry Diotte. He'll join the NDP's Heather McPherson, previously Alberta's only non-Conservative MP, on the benches after she handily won re-election in Edmonton Strathcona.

Blake Desjarlais is from the Fishing Lake Métis settlement in Alberta and is soon headed to Ottawa as an MP. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

In a comeback, Liberal Randy Boissonnault won his old seat of Edmonton Centre by a 577-vote margin. He represented the riding as MP from 2015 until 2019, when he lost the seat to his Conservative opponent.

Notable losses 

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul was always going to be fighting an uphill battle in the Liberal stronghold of Toronto Centre, but her fourth place finish added to an already tough night for her party. Liberal incumbent Marci Ien was projected to win again.

Meanwhile, the New Democratic Party got shut out in Atlantic Canada, losing its only seat in the region from the 2019 election, St. John's East.

Jack Harris, who represented the riding from 1987-88, 2008 to 2015, and again from 2019 until the election, announced his retirement earlier this year. Liberal candidate Joanne Thompson won the riding.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh jokes around as he steps away from the podium after a post-election news conference in Vancouver, on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The party has no representation in Atlantic Canada. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier lost once again in the Quebec riding of Beauce.

Bernier represented Beauce in the House of Commons for over a decade as a Conservative MP. He ran under his new party's banner in 2019 and lost to Conservative Richard Lehoux. This time around, he lost to Lehoux by an even larger margin.

Maxime Bernier, founder and leader of the People's Party of Canada (PPC), is pictured at the PPC HQ, Saskatoon Inn, Saskatoon, on the afternoon leading up to election night. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

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