Liberals may not have gotten the result in the federal election they were looking for, but their re-elected MP and finance minister for four years would take it.
“This is a great night,” Bill Morneau said to start his speech to supporters at Dundas St. East, Paintbox Bistro, last night.
“I noticed just when I just came up on stage we hit 160 seats, which is pretty good,” he said. “This is a great night in particular because it is great night for Toronto Centre. It’s a night of hope — it’s a night of hope for the future.”
The Liberals actually ended up 157 seats, well short of the 170 needed to form a majority government, but they would continue to press their agenda, including gun control, increased old age security, carbon taxes and reducing taxes, he said.
“Tonight’s result would have been better if it were a majority, but it’s a result that will allow us to move forward on these issues,” Morneau said to applause.
The Liberals would use a minority government to seek a “broad consensus in making them happen,” he told Streeter in an interview.
Morneau did achieve a majority of sorts in his own riding, as many other Liberals did across Toronto. He won 30,580 votes (57.4 per cent of votes cast), almost the same as in the 2015 election, his first.
His closest rival was the NDP’s Brian Chang who counted 11,888 votes (22.3 per cent).
Trailing both the Liberals and the NDP were Conservative candidate Ryan Lester with 6,470 votes (12.1 per cent) and the Green Party’s Annamie Paul at 3,726 (per cent).
The NDP obviously hoped for a better tally in Toronto Centre.
“We felt a lot of excitement, a lot of momentum across the riding over the campaign,” said Suze Morrison, New Democratic MPP for the riding, who was helping Chang and spoke before the votes started coming in.
Chang and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh “have given people hope, to vote for something,” including a strong response to climate crisis and head-to-toe health coverage.
“It will be really exciting to see the momentum we’ve built even if we don’t take the seat,” Morrison said at the NDP party at Jason George Pub on Front St. East last night.
She also said she expected to have a good respectful working relationship with whoever’s elected.
Toronto Centre riding is southwest of Bloor Street and the Don Valley. It takes in such diverse neighbourhoods as St. Jamestown, Cabbagetown, Regent Park, and Church and Wellesley.