'Totally tone deaf': Canadians soured by leaders' victory and concession speeches

Pleased or upset by the result of the Canadian election, with Justin Trudeau set to be the country’s prime minister again, one thing most Canadians have agreed on is that the party leaders fell short in their final speeches of the night.

Justin Trudeau

The most significant criticism was directed at the Liberal Party Leader who made the controversial choice to deliver his victory speech while Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer was speaking.

This act required media outlets across Canada to choose which speech to show viewers, resulting in most choosing the newly elected prime minister over the Conservative leader.

Trudeau was very excited in his speech, saying Canadians “rejected division and negativity” with the Liberal Party and “voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.” Adding that Canadians are sending the Liberals “back to work.”

But division is actually how some Canadians are viewing the minority result, with the governing party also losing the popular vote.

Later in his speech, Trudeau thanked Canadians for re-electing him and said his team will “fight for all Canadians,” even those who didn’t vote Liberal.

”It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve you for the past four years,” Trudeau said. “Thank you for having faith in us to move our country in the right direction.”

Andrew Scheer

Although many Canadians were quite compassionate about the fact that Trudeau spoke over Andrew Scheer, when everyone was able to listen to his full concession speech the criticism quickly started to come in. Particularly with most of his speech focused on saying that he is ready to defeat Trudeau at his next opportunity.

“When your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win,” Scheer said. “Now we are heading back to Ottawa with a much bigger team…and an endorsement from the Canadian people that we are the government in waiting.”

“Conservative values will be what get us back on track,” the party leader said.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Scheer reinforced his message that Canadians have put Trudeau’s government “on notice,” highlighting that the Conservatives won the popular vote and there was a significant lack of Liberal support in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Justin Trudeau’s approach has resulted in an extremely divided Canada,” Scheer said. “Two entire provinces completely reject the policies of the Liberal government...Directly a result of Justin Trudeau’s approach over the last four years.”

When asked about the Conservatives less-substantial gains in the Toronto area, Scheer maintained that the federal party made “significant gains” in the region, adding that Ontario’s Conservative Premier Doug Ford made the decision at the beginning of the campaign to focus on provincial politics.

Scheer also criticized Trudeau for “personally attacking and demonizing the premier of Ontario” throughout the election campaign. Some however, wonder if the ‘Ford factor’ would have helped Scheer, who campaigned separately from the premier throughout the 40-day run.

Jagmeet Singh

Somewhat overshadowed on election night was the moment when Scheer actually started his concession speech before NDP leader Jagmeet Singh fully finished his - although, it did run significantly longer than the others.

Despite only winning 24 seats, less than the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois, the NDP leader walked into the room dancing and jumping for joy. His jubilance, despite a seemingly lacklustre result, was not lost on Canadians, while others commended the party leader for coming this far in after an election campaign that began with very little support for the party.

TOPSHOT - NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and his wife Gurkiran Kaur step on stage under the cheers of his supporters at the NDP Election Night Party in Burnaby BC, Canada, on October 21, 2019. - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party held onto power in a nail-biter of a Canadian general election on Monday, but as a weakened minority government. Television projections declared the Liberals winners or leading in 157 of the nation's 338 electoral districts, versus 121 for his main rival Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives, after polling stations across six time zones closed. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh failed to gain seats for the party. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP) (Photo by DON MACKINNON/AFP via Getty Images)

“We’re going to make sure the the energy’s we’ve built over this campaign…and the focus that we’ve people on people continues,” Singh said. “This is always going to be out focus…every single day that we’re in parliament.”


Singh maintained that his party will use their influence in parliament continue to fight for national pharmacare for all Canadians, taking more actions towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and make sure the wealthiest in Canada pay their “fair share.”

Yves-Francois Blanchet

In an interesting turn of events, the Bloc Quebecois achieved 32 seats in the election, a big win for Yves-Francois Blanchet’s party, only having 10 seats after the 2015 election.

But Blanchet’s speech hit a nerve with some in Canada, after he stressed that he will “collaborate” with the other parties in Ottawa but only if it supports the interests of Quebec.

“In the meantime, we have as a mandate to benefit as much as we can on behalf of Quebecer,” Blanchet said in his French speech, adding that respect and humility is what Canadians want to see between parliamentarians.

Elizabeth May and Maxime Bernier

Elizabeth May did not get very much criticism for her concessions speech on Monday night, after the Green Party won an additional seat, the first outside of the B.C., in Fredricton.

“This is a stepping stone for next time,” May said. “We’ve never had as many finishes in close seconds and in 10 per cents.”

“We can make a really significant contribution in a minority parliament and we will,” the Green Party leader said.

Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada had a short life in the election, unable to win any seat and the party leader losing in the Beauce, Que., riding, a position he has held for 13 years.

“My heart goes out to our 315 candidates across the country,” Bernier said in his concession speech. “They did it despite nasty...attacks from our opponents.”

Despite his tearful remarks, many Canadians weren’t too upset with the party’s lack of results in the election.

“We will be stronger the next time,” Bernier said. “It’s only the beginning for the People’s Party.”

So who do you think had the best speech of the night? Vote in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below.