Conservatives win 3 seats in Nova Scotia, unseating 2 Liberals

·5 min read
Conservatives win 3 seats in Nova Scotia, unseating 2 Liberals
Conservative Chris d'Entremont (right) with his wife on Monday night. d'Entremont kept his seat in West Nova and is no longer the only federal Conservative in Nova Scotia after at least two others won their races. (Héloïse Rodriguez-Qizilbash/CBC - image credit)
Conservative Chris d'Entremont (right) with his wife on Monday night. d'Entremont kept his seat in West Nova and is no longer the only federal Conservative in Nova Scotia after at least two others won their races. (Héloïse Rodriguez-Qizilbash/CBC - image credit)

The Conservative Party has made gains in Nova Scotia, picking up at two more seats than last election and putting up strong showings in other ridings in the hours after the polls closed.

Conservative Chris d'Entremont, the only member of his party to have a seat in Nova Scotia before election day, has retained his seat in West Nova. He first won in 2019.

In Cumberland-Colchester, Conservative candidate Stephen Ellis was declared the winner over Liberal incumbent Lenore Zann with a lead of more than 2,000 votes.

In South Shore-St.Margarets, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan lost to Conservative Rick Perkins by a margin of 2,000 votes as of 10:30 p.m. Perkins ran unsuccessfully in the riding in 2019.

"It'll be good to have some partners. We'll be able to have a caucus meeting with more than one person and we'll be able to move forward and work for Nova Scotians," d'Entremont said Monday night.

Héloïse Rodriguez-Qizilbash/CBC
Héloïse Rodriguez-Qizilbash/CBC

d'Entremont's riding is home to Sipekne'katik First Nation's moderate livelihood fishery, which saw violence and vandalism erupt in the southwestern part of the province last year.

He said in the coastal communities around Yarmouth and Argyle, people remain worried about conservation and how much lobster stock is being taken out by the Treaty fishery.

Many non-Indigenous commercial fishers felt the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was not doing enough, while Indigenous fishers felt like they were "pushed too much," d'Entremont said.

"We need some leadership in this one and I think the folks here have voted to support my move forward to continue to call on government to show the leadership," d'Entremont said.

CBC
CBC

That leadership will be changing after Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan lost her seat Monday night. She was first elected in 2015.

While Jordan said that fisheries is a "tough portfolio," she said this was a challenging election and cited a number of factors that contributed to her defeat other than the Treaty fishery.

"It's absolutely an extremely important issue here because we rely so heavily on the fishery, but it was not the only issue. I heard a lot about child care and I heard a lot about health care and I heard a lot about the environment," Jordan said.

While the result is not what she was hoping for, Jordan said "it is what people have wanted" so she respects that.

"We didn't leave anything on the table. We did everything we possibly could. It just wasn't meant to be tonight," Jordan said.

Liberals Sean Fraser (Central Nova) and Mike Kelloway (Cape Breton-Canso) were the projected winners in their ridings with comfortable leads of roughly 1,000 votes just before 10 p.m. AT.

Tom Ayers/CBC
Tom Ayers/CBC

At a restaurant halfway between Sydney and Glace Bay, Kelloway told reporters he was "very humbled" and relieved by his win.

Kelloway said he was proud that his local office led the charge on creating the new Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant program. He said he looked forward to making an impact with the promised $10 daycare in Nova Scotia by 2026.

When asked about the Conservatives unseating at least two Liberals Monday night, Kelloway said as Atlantic caucus chair he'll help lead a "post-mortem" on what happened throughout the region.

"What were the issues? Where did we lose ground, where did we gain ground?" Kelloway said. "Every riding is different so every riding has a unique set of needs."

Both Dartmouth–Cole Harbour and Sackville–Preston–Chezzetcook stayed Liberal red, with incumbents Darren Fisher and Darrell Samson, respectively, declared as winners just after 10 p.m.

A tight race emerged in the Cape Breton riding of Sydney-Victoria, as Conservative candidate Eddie Orrell and Liberal incumbent Jaime Battiste, traded the lead back and forth during the first few hours of results.

Battiste was declared the victor just after 11 p.m. with a lead of more than 1,000 votes.

It was tough in the beginning of the night to be down hundreds of votes, Battiste said, but then things started changing direction and he eventually gained on Orrell.

"To get that steady, slow incline towards a victory — I can't tell you how that feels. It's magical, it's great and I'm really proud of my team," Battiste said.

Battiste made history in the 2019 federal election when he became the first Mi'kmaw MP elected to the House of Commons.

Tom Ayers/CBC
Tom Ayers/CBC

Battiste said this win feels different. His 2019 success felt "surreal," Battiste said, and this time around it feels good to be voted in based on his record rather than promises.

Another close race took place in the Halifax riding between Liberal incumbent Andy Fillmore and Lisa Roberts of the NDP, a former provincial MLA for the same party.

Fillmore was declared the winner just before 1 a.m. AT, edging Roberts out by about 1,300 votes to keep his seat.

Before Fillmore rode in on Justin Trudeau's red wave in 2015, the Halifax riding had been an NDP stronghold held by Megan Leslie and Alexa McDonough.

Only one of the province's seats was undefended. Halifax West was an open race after long-time Liberal MP Geoff Regan did not reoffer. Lena Diab retained the seat with a win for the Liberals, leading by more than 4,800 votes over the NDP's Jonathan Keith Roberts as of 10:30 p.m.

In Kings-Hants, Liberal incumbent Kody Blois won easily over Conservative Mark Parent with a lead of nearly 3,000 votes by 10:30 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic led many to vote by special ballot ; 1,267,014 ballots had been mailed out and 951,039 returned as of Sept. 20, according to Elections Canada.

In-person voting at advance polls increased significantly from 2019, with approximately 5,780,000 votes cast between Sept. 10 and 13, according to Elections Canada.

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