Meet some of the new Quebec MPs heading to Ottawa after a hard-fought election

A well-known environmentalist, a Beauce dairy farmer and a Montreal city councillor are among 30 new members of Parliament heading to Ottawa from Quebec after a hotly contested campaign that saw a reworking of the province's electoral map.

The surge of support for the Bloc Québécois means 22 new Bloc MPs will take their seats in the House of Commons, along with seven new Liberals and one Conservative. 

Here's a look at some of the noteworthy new parliamentarians who will represent Quebecers.

The longtime environmentalist

Steven Guilbeault says he first stood up for his beliefs at the age of five, when he climbed up a tree in his hometown of La Tuque, Que., in an attempt to thwart a land-clearing developer's plans. 

He lost that fight, but his passion for protecting the environment was born. Now, four and a half decades later, the co-founder of Équiterre and former Quebec lieutenant for Greenpeace has traded in decades of environmental activism for a Liberal seat representing the downtown Montreal riding of Laurier–Saint-Marie.

"The environment was top of mind" throughout the campaign, Guilbeault said, recounting his conversations with thousands of voters.

He listed other issues: social housing, the fight against poverty.

"I will be an ally for these organizations and people who want these things to get better in the riding."

Despite his high profile, Guilbeault's victory was no sure thing. He faced criticism about how he could back the federal Liberal Party's decision to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline. 

There is a lot of speculation about whether Guilbeault will be offered the environment post in a Trudeau cabinet — and if so, what he would do about the pipeline question. For now, all the newly elected MP will say is that if he's offered any cabinet position, he'd "seriously" consider accepting it.

Gilles Duceppe's son

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe is following in his father's footsteps, after winning the riding of Lac-Saint Jean for the Bloc Québécois.

Gilles Duceppe, who was a panelist on Radio-Canada on election night, spoke to his son on live television to congratulate him for trouncing the Liberal incumbent, Richard Hébert, by more than 10,000 votes.

Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

"You were the son of Gilles Duceppe. I was the son of Jean Duceppe. He became my father. Now, I'm going to be called Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe's father," Duceppe told his son, his eyes shining with pride.

Now the political neophyte is looking ahead.

"Tomorrow morning, the real work begins," Brunelle-Duceppe said Monday. "Now we have to go to Ottawa."

Giant killer in the Beauce

Richard Lehoux, a former mayor who comes from a long line of dairy farmers, managed to take down Maxime Bernier in Beauce.

Bernier was a longtime Conservative MP before forming the People's Party of Canada last year after losing the Conservative leadership race to Andrew Scheer.

Lehoux told Radio-Canada Tuesday his win in the riding shows the beliefs of people in Beauce don't align with those of Bernier and the People's Party of Canada.

Radio-Canada

"I often heard that in the field: 'I do not think it's us. We do not recognize ourselves [in Bernier's ideas],'" Lehoux said. "As Beauce resident myself, we are people who are proud, who are welcoming, who are warm."

But the longtime mayor of Saint-Elzéar, a town of 2,000 in Quebec's Chaudière-Appalaches region, said he did not expect to beat Bernier by such a large majority. Lehoux took nearly 39 per cent of the vote.

Lehoux is also the former president of the Quebec federation of municipalities (FQM).

A different kind of victory

The Liberals' star candidate in the bellwether riding of Brome-Mississquoi, Lyne Bessette, is headed to Ottawa after a tight contest against the Bloc Québécois.

Bessette, a former professional cyclist who competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics, knows all about tight contests.

Radio-Canada

"When you win something, whether it be a race or an election campaign, you are carried away by emotion — proud of what you accomplished," she said after her hard-fought win.

Bessette, who was born in Knowlton and now lives in Sutton, says the environment, and services for seniors and youth are key issues.

Her priority right now is "to open the office and be there for people," she told Radio-Canada.

Activist in Pierrefonds-Dollard

Activist Sameer Zuberi was elected in Pierrefonds-Dollard, a Liberal stronghold in Montreal's West Island which has a significant English-speaking community. 

Zuberi, a Projet Montréal candidate in the Bois-de-Liesse district in 2013, trained as a lawyer at Université de Montréal and worked most recently as a diversity and engagement officer for McGill University's Faculty of Medicine.

As a spokesperson for the Canadian Muslim Forum, Zuberi called on Canadians to resist intolerance following the Quebec City mosque shooting in 2017.

Katy Larouche/Radio-Canada

During the election campaign, the Conservative Party accused Zuberi of anti-Semitism for his role in a student leadership conflict in 2003, and criticized comments Zuberi made on Facebook in 2011 related to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S. Zuberi defended himself on both counts.

New Liberal moves from municipal to federal politics

Liberal Patricia Lattanzio dominated in the riding of Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, taking 61 per cent of the vote.

Before becoming a Montreal city councillor with Ensemble Montréal in 2015, Lattanzio, a lawyer, served as an English Montreal School Board commissioner.

CBC

Hassam Guillet, dumped by the Liberal Party over allegations that he'd made anti-Semitic comments in the past, ran as an Independent. He came in fourth.

Former federal adviser takes Hochelaga

Liberal Soraya Martinez took the seat in Hochelaga in one of the tightest races in the province, beating Bloc Québécois candidate Simon Marchand by just over 300 votes.

The riding was swept up in the Orange Wave of 2011 and remained an NDP seat until Martinez was elected Monday. 

"I campaigned on four themes: housing, food accessibility, transport and change," said Martinez after her win.

"I am a hand-working woman, and I understand the challenges people face as the cost of living goes up and incomes don't match.

She plans to make public transit her priority.

Liberal Party of Canada

Another former Montreal city councillor and member of the city's executive committee, Martinez has been involved in city politics for more than 10 years. 

In 2015, Martinez led Mélanie Joly's municipal election campaign. 

Before seeking the Liberal nomination in Hochelaga, she served as senior adviser to Joly, who served as federal heritage minister from 2015 until 2018.

Star NDP candidate knocked out by Bloc

In Berthier-Maskinongé, the NDP's popular incumbent, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, was beat out by the president of the Bloc Québécois, candidate Yves Perron. 

Brosseau and Perron were neck and neck in the polls in the last days of the campaign, but Perron won by more than 1,000 votes.

Liberal Party of Canada

Perron, a teacher from Saint-Félix-de-Valois, lost to Brosseau in 2015.

"I had a feeling this time would be the right one," Perron said after he was elected. "I guarantee, you have someone who will listen to you. Working for you: that's why we're here." 

The last Bloc member to represent the riding of Berthier-Maskinongé was Guy André, from 2004 to 2011.