Canada election highlights: Justin Trudeau nabs 'incredibly rare' win, follows up with speech snafu


It’s official, Justin Trudeau will continue to hold the title of Canada’s prime minister but has been knocked down from a majority to a minority government.

“Tonight, we chose to move Canada forward,” Trudeau said in his victory speech. “We take this responsibly seriously and we will work hard for you, for your families and for your future.”

The day wasn’t off the the smoothest start, with several issues reported in the polls, including a power outage in Toronto, a lack of Elections Canada staff and incorrect information on voting cards.

If you got to the polls but didn’t stay up all night for the final results and speeches, here are the top five moments you missed from election night.

Electoral reform

Trudeau promised that 2015 would be the last election with first-past-the-post but four years later, it’s still the electoral system being used in Canada.

Although the Liberal Party received the most seats, the Conservative Party actually won the popular vote, reaching over 34 per cent support compared to the Liberals 33 per cent. Currently, Canadians select a party representative in each riding. The individual with the highest number of votes in each riding wins a seat in the legislature. The popular vote refers to the total number of individual votes cast across the country.


Party leader Andrew Scheer mentioned the popular vote in his concession speech, saying it’s “an endorsement from the Canadian people that we are the government in waiting.”

“When your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win,” Scheer said.

This is an incredibly rare outcome in Canada but it is the second time this has happened with a Trudeau in the mix. In 1979, Progressive Conservative Joe Clark won a minority government with the most seats, but his Liberal competitor Pierre Elliot Trudeau came out ahead in the popular vote.

The last time a Canadian party won with less than 35 per cent of the popular vote was John A. Macdonald in 1867, achieving 34.8 per cent of the popular vote. But his Conservative party did win both the largest number of seats and had the highest percentage of popular votes.

Canadians also took to social media to — once again — demand electoral reform in Canada, including people in B.C. who feel a change in the system is needed in order for people in the West to actually have their voices heard.

Was it an accident? Scheer gets shut out in concession speech


In a messy, unprecedented turn of events, Trudeau decided to come out and make his victory speech in Montreal just as Scheer appeared to make his concession announcement at his headquarters in Saskatchewan. This resulted in most media outlets in Canada showing the Liberal Party Leader’s speech over Scheer’s.

The move resulted in political commentators criticizing Trudeau’s decision to make his speech at the same time as the Conservative leader, saying that he shut out Scheer after a particularly nasty election campaign.

Although much of the focus was on Trudeau versus Scheer, the Conservative Leader also made his appearance on stage just before NDP Leader Singh’s concession speech fully concluded.

Short-lived People’s Party

There is one party who certainly underperformed to its expected results, Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada.

“My heart goes out to our 315 candidates across the country,” Bernier said in his concession speech. “They’ve shown extraordinary courage and passion in defending our principles and policies.”

The party leader lost his seat in the Beauce, Que., riding, a position he has held for over a decade and no other candidates were able to win in Canada.

The People’s Party of Canada faced harsh criticism since it was created one-year ago, with promises to significantly limit immigration and no intentions to make any actions to combat climate change.

“We will be there to criticize the government and offer better solutions,” Bernier said. “We will be stronger the next time. It’s only the beginning for the People’s Party.”

Strength in increased number for Greens, Bloc Quebecois

Yves-Francois Blanchet had a lot to celebrate after the election, with the Bloc Quebecois winning 32 seats, more than the 24 seats won by the NDP.

Blanchet promised that the Bloc Quebecois will work with the other parties in Ottawa but will always make decisions based on what is best for the people of Quebec.

Although the Green Party only won one additional seat, it is the first time the party will have representation outside the province of B.C with Jenica Atwin winning in Fredericton.

“This is a stepping stone for next time,” Elizabeth May said in her concession speech. “We can make a really significant contribution in a minority parliament and we will.”

Political short falls

Although the NDP didn’t make a significant showing in the polls, Singh was still jubilant, dancing into his headquarters to make his concession announcement.

“New Democrats are going to Ottawa to fight for you,” Singh said. “Canadians have sent a clear message tonight. They want a government that works for them, not for the rich and the powerful.”

The party leader also promised to still fight for a universal pharmacare system, additional taxes for the wealthiest in Canada, and actions to tackle student debt and climate change.

On the Liberal side, the party faced a significant loss with Ralph Goodale losing his seat in Regina-Wascana, while the Conservatives did not keep Lisa Raitt in her riding of Milton, Ont.

Independent Jane Philpott also struggled in the election, losing her seats in Markham-Stouffville, Ont.