CORNWALL – For the seventh election in a row, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry is blue. Incumbent member of Parliament Eric Duncan won his second consecutive election on September 20.
He was first elected MP in 2019 after five-term MP Guy Lauzon retired. Duncan won a higher percentage of the local vote this election (55 per cent), but voter turnout decreased by five per cent.
Duncan was welcomed by a smaller but still jubilant gathering in Cornwall after his victory was declared Monday night.
“I am very grateful for the support that everyone has offered. We have a great mandate locally and the results have been very strong. I am very grateful to the residents of SDSG for the faith they have passed onto me,” Duncan told supporters.
He said that due to the pandemic it had been a challenging time trying to get out to meet people during the campaign.
“It’s tough. It’s part of the challenge of being in a pandemic,” he explained. “I think the fact that this is going to be a Liberal minority, people are very frustrated with the call for a $610 million election and we got literally the same results for seats.”
Duncan said that the government will have to answer more questions on why the election was called when it was.
“We have a lot of work to do. Canadians have sent a message that we have to work together to some degree and we’ll see if we can do that.”
Returning to the House of Commons in the opposition benches, Duncan said he is concerned about unity in the country.
“A year ago when we were talking oil and gas – the west versus the rest – I thought I had rarely seen our country this divided,” he said. “And now with COVID-19 and this election, it’s very scary how divided and how angry many parts of the country are. I hope Justin Trudeau got a wake up call tonight that the country is very divided. I think he has contributed to it.”
Asked if his party’s stance of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other CPC candidates not saying if they were vaccinated or not had an impact on the election results, Duncan called it a sensitive issue for both sides.
“I am dismayed as we come out of this election, the tone of pitting vaccinated against unvaccinated. I am very frustrated seeing the very stark separation. Justin Trudeau calling them ‘those people’ I think the challenge is we’ve gone further backwards. Vaccine hesitancy has become political, and that worries me.”
On the question of party leadership, Duncan – who did support Conservative leader Erin O’Toole during the leadership campaign – said that he does not see a need for a leadership change.
“I think Erin performed well in the campaign. No one knew who he was at the start of the campaign. I think he deserves a chance to continue on and build on the success we had.”
Liberal Denis Moquin finished second to Duncan in the election with 23.5 per cent of the vote. That is a drop of 2.1 per cent from the 2019 election. NDP candidate Trevor Kennedy garnered 11 per cent of the vote, a 3.3 per cent decrease.
People’s Party of Canada candidate David Anber more than tripled local support for his party. He received 7.7 per cent of the vote, up from 2.2 per cent.
The Green Party of Canada’s candidate Dr. Jeanie Warnock received 2.3 per cent of the vote in SDSG, a 1.7 per cent drop.
Nationally, federal leaders Justin Trudeau (Liberal), Erin O’Toole (Conservative), Jagmeet Singh (NDP) and Yves-François Blanchet (Bloc Québécois) each won their ridings. Both Green Party leader Annamie Paul and PPC leader Maxime Bernier failed to win in their ridings.
The Liberals gained two seats in the election, improving to 157 MPs but the party declined in support. Less than one-third of Canadians (32.2 per cent) voted Liberal in this election. The CPC remained at 119 MPs elected, the same as at dissolution. Party support decreased by 0.3 per cent. The NDP increased its seat count by one MP to 25, and its overall support by 1.7 per cent. The Bloc Québécois increased its seat count by two to 34.
The PPC failed to elect any MPs this election but increased its support in ridings across the country. The party more than doubled its support from 2019 to 814,547 or 5.1 per cent nationally.
Voter turnout declined in the 2021 election from 67 per cent to 58.44 per cent.
Seat counts may still fluctuate as mail-in ballots continue to be counted. All election results are unofficial until certified by Elections Canada.
Around the region:
Conservative Michael Barrett retained his hold on neighbouring riding Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
In Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Liberal Francis Drouin kept his seat, as did CPC incumbent Pierre Poilievre, who won 50.2 per cent of the vote in Carleton.