The surprise upsets, dramatic losses and nail-biting races of election night

·4 min read
A worker organizes bins labelled with the names of candidates into which special ballots from national, international, Canadian Forces and incarcerated electors will be placed and counted, at Elections Canada's distribution centre in Ottawa on election night Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A worker organizes bins labelled with the names of candidates into which special ballots from national, international, Canadian Forces and incarcerated electors will be placed and counted, at Elections Canada's distribution centre in Ottawa on election night Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The post-election makeup of the House of Commons looks a lot like it did when Parliament was dissolved for the election in August — another minority Liberal government — but the campaign saw a few surprises and interesting races along the way.

Cabinet ministers

One thing is certain: the next cabinet will look different, now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to replace three ministers.

According to CBC's projections Tuesday, Bernadette Jordan — who at dissolution was the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard — won't be returning as a cabinet minister after losing her Nova Scotia riding of South Shore–St. Margarets to Conservative Rick Perkins.

CBC
CBC

In Ontario, the riding of Peterborough–Kawartha has lost its reputation as a bellwether: Maryam Monsef, previously the minister for women and gender equality, trailed behind Conservative Michelle Ferreri.

Since 1965, the candidate elected in Peterborough–Kawartha has almost always been a member of the party that went on to form the government.

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press
Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Monsef's Ontario colleague also won't be rejoining the cabinet table. CBC decision desk projects that the Conservatives' Anna Roberts has defeated Seniors Minister Deb Schulte in King–Vaughan.

Former Green MP returns as Liberal

It was down to the wire, but Jenica Atwin, the former Green MP for Fredericton who crossed the floor to the Liberals earlier this year, will return to Ottawa.

Jon Collicott/CBC
Jon Collicott/CBC

She cited distractions within the Green Party, including internal disagreements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as part of her reason for leaving.

The Greens have now officially lost their footing in Atlantic Canada, an area they were hoping to make gains in following their 2019 breakthrough and successes at the provincial level.

Atwin squeaked out a win over the Conservative candidate by 502 votes Wednesday morning.

Outrage with Toronto winner

Former Liberal candidate Kevin Vuong won his Toronto riding by a margin of 2,094 votes over the NDP candidate. It was a close-fought race after the Liberals cut ties with Vuong over a sexual assault charge that was later dropped. He said he plans to sit as an Independent.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped Vuong as a candidate two days before the election — too late to remove his name from the ballot.

Outrage is mounting online over his decision to sit in the House of Commons.

Vuong said those who voted for him are counting on him to serve. But some Spadina-Fort York constituents said online that they cast their ballots for Vuong in the advance polls before learning about the sexual assault charge and now want to take their votes back.

Upsets

It was a night to forget for the Green Party, but Greens still had something to celebrate — candidate Mike Morrice was projected to win the riding of Kitchener Centre by a considerable margin.

Liberal incumbent Raj Saini ended his bid for re-election there amid allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denies.

Conservative support dipped slightly in fortress Alberta. While the majority of the province will be represented by a Conservative MP, there were two upsets.

 Josette Lafleur/CBC
Josette Lafleur/CBC

In 2019, the Liberals were completely shut out of Alberta, but Liberal candidate George Chahal — who served as a Calgary city councillor for four years after a career in the financial sector — flipped Calgary Skyview red.

In Edmonton Griesbach, the NDP's Blake Desjarlais wrestled victory from two-term Conservative MP Kerry Diotte. He'll join the NDP's Heather McPherson, previously Alberta's only non-Conservative MP, on the benches after she handily won re-election in Edmonton Strathcona.

Waubgeshig Rice/CBC
Waubgeshig Rice/CBC

In a comeback, Liberal Randy Boissonnault won his old seat of Edmonton Centre by a 577-vote margin. He represented the riding as MP from 2015 until 2019, when he lost the seat to his Conservative opponent.

Notable losses

Green Party Leader Annamie Paul was always going to be fighting an uphill battle in the Liberal stronghold of Toronto Centre, but her fourth place finish added to an already tough night for her party. Liberal incumbent Marci Ien was projected to win again.

Meanwhile, the New Democratic Party got shut out in Atlantic Canada, losing its only seat in the region from the 2019 election, St. John's East.

Jack Harris, who represented the riding from 1987-88, 2008 to 2015, and again from 2019 until the election, announced his retirement earlier this year. Liberal candidate Joanne Thompson won the riding.

Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press
Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier lost once again in the Quebec riding of Beauce.

Bernier represented Beauce in the House of Commons for over a decade as a Conservative MP. He ran under his new party's banner in 2019 and lost to Conservative Richard Lehoux. This time around, he lost to Lehoux by an even larger margin.

Richard Agecoutay/CBC
Richard Agecoutay/CBC
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