PERTH-WELLINGTON – The crowd of supporters, family and volunteers gathered at the Mitchell Golf Club to celebrate Perth-Wellington MP John Nater’s re-election might have been limited in size due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it wasn’t limited in enthusiasm when the victory was announced.
Following a 36-day campaign that has left parliament looking very close to the same as it did before the election, Nater reclaimed his seat in the House of Commons.
“I would like to thank my fellow candidates in this election,” he said. “Brendan (Knight) and Kevin (Kruchkywich), I want to thank both of them for running respectful campaigns based on issues and ideas and to Wayne (Baker) for putting his name forward in this election. During normal campaigns, we get to know our fellow candidates very well after criss-crossing 3,500-square kilometres of Perth-Wellington and running into each other at different community events.”
Nater said that it was unfortunate that due to COVID the candidates didn‘t have the usual opportunity to get to know each other.
“I would have enjoyed learning more from Kevin, about his life experiences and how to improve our communities,” he said. “And from Brendan’s passion for politics and his thoughts on the challenges we are facing as a country. So thank you for stepping forward and participating in this election.”
Although all the volunteers that helped with the campaign were not able to make it to the reception due to restrictions on capacity, Nater made sure to thank them for their efforts.
“Although it may be my name on the ballot,” he said. “It’s because of the work of each and every one of you that we won the election here in Perth-Wellington tonight.”
Nater captured nearly 50 per cent of the votes in the riding, with over 26,000 residents casting ballots for the Conservative.
Knight, the Liberal candidate, finished with less than half that total, picking up 12,876 votes.
Kruchkywich, the NDP’s local candidate, had 17 per cent of the vote with over 9,000 ballots cast for him. Baker, the People’s Party of Canada candidate, earned 5,277 votes.
Looking at the election results during the reception, Nater noted that within a few seats the House of Commons will look similar to where it left off with Liberals as a minority government.
“But I think that’s reflective of what Canadians want to see,” he said. “Obviously they have re-elected a minority parliament and it’s an expectation that somehow we make things work. Going back to Ottawa, looking forward to working across party lines, across the benches to see what we can do to deliver for the shared constituents that we serve across the country.”
The Liberal Party returns to the House of Commons with a second straight minority government, securing approximately 158 seats as of press time. The Conservatives will again form the Official Opposition with approximately 119 seats.
The Bloc Quebecois made significant gains in Quebec, picking up 34 seats, while the New Democratic Party will retain fourth party status in the House of Commons with approximately 25 elected MPs. The Green Party saw two MPs elected.
With files from Dan McNee/Listowel Banner
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner