Tuesday September 21, 2021 | NATIONAL from VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
Commentary by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
It’s the morning after, and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is back in the saddle of putting forth an agenda of shifting the dial for the daily living conditions of most Canadians.
“We heard a lot of things out there,” was Singh’s way of rounding up a long list of changes he wants to see happen through legislation in the 44th parliament including the well-being of workers, providing more health-care supports for Canadians, and uplifting the Indigenous peoples.
The NDP’s mojo:
Singh says he and his re-elected and new MPs will continue to fight for people in the newly-elected parliament, which he managed to convince more Canadians about in this election by describing the NDP mojo this way:
“The big difference – when you get a New Democrat, you get someone who cares about you. Someone who’s going to fight for you, who will never back down from a tough fight,” the NDP leader said in a response to an Island Social Trends question on the last day of the campaign.
NDP may still get five more seats:
The federal election held on September 20 produced almost identical seat counts for all parties (as of 5 pm Sept 21): Liberals 158, Conservatives 119, Bloc Quebecois 34, NDP 25, and Greens 2 (for a total of 338). But the NDP proved resilience in that mix, not losing any ridings and gaining at least one more.
Final vote results may take a few more days due to the over one million ballots cast by mail or special ballot.
Due to the strength of the NDP impact on people rethinking their priorities in what they want from government leadership, the party thinks that possibly five seats could still ‘turn orange’ in the days ahead when all the ballots-by-mail are counted, bringing the NDP seat count up to 30. Re-elected NDP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) lists those off as:
- Davenport (Alejandra Bravo only needs 348 votes to win in this west-end Toronto riding, which would overturn the Liberal candidate);
- Vancouver-Granville (previously Liberal until Jody Wilson-Raybould ran as an independent in 2019, where NDP Candidate Anjali Appadurai only needs 231 votes to win over the Liberal candidate);
- Berthier—Maskinongé (where previous NDP candidate Ruth Ellen Brosseau ran again in this election after a 2-year hiatus, and would only need 924 votes through mail-in ballots in order to win that seat in Quebec);
- Windsor-Tecumseh (where NDP candidate Cheryl Hardcastle needs only 502 votes to win in that southern-Ontario riding); and
- Hamilton Mountain (where NDP candidate Malcolm Allen would need 664 more votes to win in that southern-Ontario riding).
In his last press conference of the campaign (on Sunday September 19), Singh said that New Democrats have the toughest sell in Ontario, where it’s hard to break through the cynicism that has built up over many years about politics.
Singh got into politics as a function of being hopeful for society (a legacy impact from being convinced by the late Jack Layton to ‘do politics differently’, who generated the ‘orange wave’ in the 2011 election, particularly in Quebec).
Back to working for Canadians:
Given the shakeup that this election produced for the Liberal leader who had hoped for a majority, Canadians might see a relatively prompt setup of the next parliament. Garrison thinks the House of Commons could get down to business by late October or early November. If it’s put off until December it would be a short sitting, as MPs normally break for several weeks over the Christmas season.
If the Liberals ‘heard’ the angst of many demographics (clawing back GIS from seniors, leaving the child care agreement file hanging, pressure for Pharmacare to be finally set up across the country, improving the delivery of care in long-term care facilities, and rejigging the pandemic recovery supports so people and businesses aren’t left stranded), the return to active parliament might be prompt.
Things swirling in the mix before parliament gets underway include first of course waiting for the final seat count, then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau forming a Liberal cabinet and pulling together a throne speech. As well, the Conservative party seems to be in temporary disarray over the performance of their leader Erin O’Toole for not bringing home a majority government (as if that’s some sort of natural entitlement).
It’s unclear whether the the Council of the Federation (all the provincial and territorial premiers, chaired by BC Premier John Horgan) will meet with Trudeau in any way ahead of an active new parliamentary session.
Today Horgan issued a statement congratulating Trudeau on his win, saying “I look forward to working in collaboration with the other premiers and the prime minister to address the challenges the pandemic has placed on our people, our economy and our health-care system”.
NDP candidate mojo: we fight for you (September 19, 2021)
Alistair MacGregor: awaiting results on a 3rd term (before the polls closed in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford on September 20, 2021)
Lisa Marie Barron: up against Green incumbent (before the polls closed in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on September 20, 2021)