Home News B.C. The high-profile winners and losers of the federal election

The high-profile winners and losers of the federal election

The Globe and Mail
For the Conservatives and New Democratic Party, Monday night was a bloodbath.

Powerful cabinet ministers fell across the country, and New Democrat stalwarts – including the deputy leader – were swept out of office by Justin Trudeau’s red tide.

Full coverage of Federal Election 2015

Leading the list of top Tory scalps were the ministers of Finance, Citizenship and the Environment. On the NDP side, some of the party’s longest-serving MPs were thrown out the door, the party was on track to lose every seat in Toronto, and even Leader Tom Mulcair was in a tough re-election fight in his Quebec riding of Outremont.
Joe Oliver: The mightiest titan to go down was the sitting Conservative Finance Minister, who was trailing in the affluent midtown Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence. Liberal Marco Mendicino, a former Crown attorney running in his first election, was poised to edge out Mr. Oliver. The NDP’s Andrew Thomson, a former Saskatchewan finance minister whom the New Democrats used frequently as a spokesman during the campaign in a bid to burnish their fiscal credentials, finished a distant third. The riding, which had been held since its 1979 creation by the Liberals until Mr. Oliver took it away in 2011, was also the scene of internal Grit drama earlier this year. Former Mississauga Tory MP Eve Adams tried to win the Liberal nomination there, with Justin Trudeau’s blessing, only to face stiff opposition from local Liberals. Mr. Mendicino prevailed in the resulting nomination contest.
Chris Alexander: The Citizenship and Immigration Minister was a promising, youthful former diplomat when he took Ajax-Pickering in suburban Toronto away from the Liberals in 2011. But Mr. Alexander became best known as a Harper attack dog, spearheading legislation to strip convicted terrorists of their citizenship and fighting back against criticism that the government mishandled the Syrian refugee crisis. This time around, Liberal Mark Holland, the man Mr. Alexander unseated four years ago, came back with a vengeance, thumping the minister in the new Ajax riding.
Julian Fantino: The former Toronto police chief had a rough ride in Ottawa, handling four portfolios over five years, ending as associate defence minister this year. Most notably, he had a rough relationship with veterans when serving as veterans affairs minister, closing eight offices providing services for veterans. He once famously showed up late for a meeting with veterans who wanted to discuss the cuts, then got into an argument with them. Mr. Fantino was on track to lose in Vaughan-Woodbridge, a suburban riding north of Toronto, to Liberal Francesco Sorbara.
Leona Aglukkaq: Health minister for five years and Environment Minister for the past two, Ms. Aglukkaq spent her entire time in Parliament at the cabinet table. In the past two elections, she captured what had previously been a Liberal seat in Nunavut with increasingly large shares of the vote. This time, however, she lost a tough fight to Liberal Hunter Tootoo, a former speaker of the Nunavut legislative assembly.
Megan Leslie: The Tories weren’t the only ones to watch their giants go down to defeat. The NDP’s deputy leader and the most powerful member of the party’s younger generation, Ms. Leslie’s loss in Halifax is a serious blow to the NDP’s rebuilding efforts. It is also an indication of the magnitude of Mr. Trudeau’s victory and the other parties’ losses: Halifax had been an NDP stronghold, formerly the seat of ex-leader Alexa McDonough. Ms. Leslie lost to Liberal Andy Fillmore. Also among the first NDP candidates to go down to defeat Monday was Peter Stoffer, one of the NDP’s longest-serving MPs, who was felled in Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, a riding of suburbs and small towns ringing Halifax.
Olivia Chow: The former Toronto MP who stepped down in 2014 to launch an unsuccessful mayoral bid, fell short in her bid to return to the Commons. Adam Vaughan, who won her old seat in a by-election for the Liberals, soundly defeated Ms. Chow in Spadina-Fort York. A supremely self-confident, if often combative, former city councillor, Mr. Vaughan is a top adviser on housing and other urban issues for Mr. Trudeau.
Paul Dewar: The NDP’s foreign affairs critic and one of its most prominent MPs, Mr. Dewar was on track to lose Ottawa Centre to Liberal Catherine Mary McKenna.
Chrystia Freeland: A former journalist, Mr. Trudeau recruited Ms. Freeland as an adviser on economic issues two years ago, persuading her to leave New York and move to Toronto to run in a downtown by-election. She held on on Monday, edging out NDP opponent Jennifer Hollett, a former MuchMusic VJ, in the riding of University-Rosedale. Expect Mr. Trudeau to tap her intellectual heft in his future government.
Bill Blair: The former Toronto police chief overcame criticism of his support for carding – a police practice that results in racial profiling – and his handling of the mass arrests of peaceful protestors at the G20 summit in 2010 to take the Scarborough Southwest riding for the Liberals. Mr. Blair finished ahead of incumbent NDP MP Dan Harris and Tory Roshan Nallaratnam.
Andrew Leslie: A retired lieutenant-general, who served in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, Mr. Leslie also held the post of chief of the land staff. His presence in Mr. Trudeau’s caucus, after unseating Tory Royal Galipeau in Orléans, is meant to buttress the Liberal party’s defence credentials.
Darshan Singh Kang: Not since 1968, Trudeau père’s first election, have the Liberals won a seat in Calgary. In large part because of the elder Trudeau’s subsequent policies – particularly the National Energy Policy, widely blamed in Alberta for bleeding the oil dry for the benefit of Central Canada – the party was largely thought unelectable thereafter. But Mr. Kang, who was leading late Monday night, looked set to finally put the NEP’s ghost to rest on the wave of Trudeau fils’s popularity.
Lisa Raitt: One high-ranking Tory to hold on, the Transportation Minister won a solid victory in the Toronto suburb of Milton. Under Mr. Harper, she had a rare status as one of his few ministers allowed to speak with reporters and exercise some degree of autonomy within the government. Now, she holds an equally rare status as a powerful Tory outside the West who didn’t get defeated.

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