Federal election 2021: Liberal Heath MacDonald holds Easter's seat in Malpeque

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Heath MacDonald, left, celebrates with Wayne Easter, the Liberal MP who had represented Malpeque since 1993. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
Heath MacDonald, left, celebrates with Wayne Easter, the Liberal MP who had represented Malpeque since 1993. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

Liberal Heath MacDonald, a former provincial cabinet minister, is the riding's first new MP in almost three decades.

"I will cherish these memories for a long time," he said after he was declared the projected winner Monday night.

Liberal Wayne Easter, who had represented the riding since 1993, announced in June that he would not reoffer.

Easter was at MacDonald's headquarters at the North River Fire Department to congratulate his successor Monday night.

MacDonald thanked his other supporters after he was declared the projected winner.

"I'm indebted to you forever. I'm not sure how I'll repay you but I can assure you that the same Heath MacDonald will be the same Heath MacDonald for ever and ever and ever."

Jody Sanderson of the Conservatives finished second and Anna Keenan of the Greens was running third.

MacDonald gave credit to the other candidates for running a clean campaign.

I think running a good, strong campaign, keeping it clean, basing all our comments on policies, I think [that] was essential. - Heath MacDonald

"There's a lot of rhetoric in politics these days and I think Islanders are sick and tired of it and I think running a good, strong campaign, keeping it clean, basing all our comments on policies, I think [that] was essential."

Malpeque is in central Prince Edward Island. It extends the full width of the province, from North Shore to South Shore, to the outskirts of Summerside at its western end and to the far side of Charlottetown in the east. It excludes Charlottetown itself, which is its own riding.

MacDonald said he heard concerns about lack of access to healthcare and childcare from constituents during the campaign. Although some criticized Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for triggering an election during the COVID-19 pandemic, MacDonald said the pandemic brought those two topics into the spotlight as needing more attention.

"If those two issues alone make us a better place to live, I think the election would be worthwhile," he said.

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