Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke voters showed Monday that they like Randall Garrison so much they wanted him back for more.
“It might’ve been my name on the ballot, but it’s all of you that this belongs to tonight,” the riding’s re-elected MP told about 20 supporters at Pearkes Arena in Saanich.
“It’s been a spirited campaign and we’ve often disagreed and had heated exchange of ideas, but even though we disagree I salute my opponents for stepping forward and standing up for what they believe in.”
Garrison handily defeated Green, Liberal and Conservative challengers with 13,401 votes by press time Monday night, or 35.5 per cent of the popular vote, winning his third consecutive federal election.
Garrison will join at least 24 other New Democrats in the House of Commons.
With results still pouring in late Monday, the Liberals had 157 seats — 13 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons.
NDP supporter Grant Keddie said climate issues and affordability were two of the key issues in this year’s campaign.
“It’s really important to put a real emphasis on trends, providing jobs for young people, transitioning people who are currently in the oil field to the sustainable energy fields,” Keddie said.
“It was a great team, with so many amazing volunteers coming through our office,” said Greg Schindler, the NDP’s voter contact organizer.
Conservative candidate Randall Pewarchuk, who came in third, said he had few regrets.
Pewarchuk said his support for the oil industry and TransMountain pipeline may have hurt his campaign, but he doesn’t regret standing by those values. “I’m proud of what the Conservative values are and I will stand by them,” he said. “The people made a decision, its a democracy thank god for that – and we’ll come out fighting whether its 18 months or four years from now.”
Green candidate David Merner, who was expected to make it a race against Garrison, was excited at the prospect the Greens could be the balance of power in Ottawa.
Liberal Jamie Hammond is giving his full support to Garrison now that the election is over.
“He’s a good man,” Hammond said.
“It’s been a great experience, and I’m going to keep working to do what I can to make this country even better than it is today.”
Candidates join supporters
Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke candidates are making their way to join with their supporters.
So far, Green David Merner and Liberal Jamie Hammond have joined with the crowd, while the others are expected momentarily.
At the Liberal camp, people still seem to be upbeat about the fact that the party is hanging on to government, but there is a natural disappointment that their guy probably won’t win.
New Democrats eating only “orange” food such as orange bubbly soda and Cheesies. Their candidate has a firm lead of 34 percent of the vote.
Voters await results
The polls have closed, and the waiting begins.
Early results in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding are expected soon.
For the voters it’s been an exciting day.
First time voter Justin Deman said it’s been an empowering experience, while mom Andrea said she’s ho[ing for change over the next four years.
“We need a change. We just need a change,” she said.
Voter Aron Licht made his way to the polls three times today. First for himself and then to help two others.
Grant Keddie has been an NDP volunteer for 50 years. Today he and his wife are both working on campaign, he was an inside scrutineer while she was knocking on doors and getting people out to vote. This year some of the most important matters to him were climate issues as well as affordability. His granddaughter and her boyfriend recently had to move back home even though both of them have good jobs, because they couldn’t afford to rent.
“I’ve Always seen the NDP as a social conscience of the country and they really care about the people.”
It’s all comes down to this.
For the last 40 days and nights, voters across the country have examined the issues, the debates, and some heated exchanges – and now it’s their term to decide.
By about 7:30 p.m. tonight voters across the country will likely know which party is going to form the next federal government. The wait could be a little longer for those in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding where there appears to be a two-way race between New Democrat incumbent Randall Garrison and the Green Party’s David Merner. Others in the running include Fidelia Godron (Independent), Jeremy Gustafson (PPC), Jamie Hammond (Liberal), Louis Lesosky (Independent), Philip Ney (Independent), Randall Perwarchuk (Conservative), Tyson Strandlund (Communist Party), and Josh Steffler (Libertarian Party).
But the Liberals aren’t conceding defeat just yet.
At 6:30 p.m., Hammond and more than 100 of his volunteers were still knocking on doors and trying to get out the vote.
“We’re upbeat, we think we have a chance to win this. We’ll find out in a couple hours,” said campaign manager Kimanda Jarzebiak, Hammond’s campaign manager.
Meanwhile, Conservative candidate Randall Pewarchuk is up beat.
“We have a chance to win this,” he said. “We’ll find out in a couple of hours.”
Pewarchuk, a dentist and longtime Metchosin resident and has campaigned on lower taxation, more affordable housing and an end to “over-aggressive, rushed and questionable green initiatives.”
So far, none of the main party candidates are at their election celebration parties.
Others in the running include Fidelia Godron (Independent), Jeremy Gustafson (PPC), Jamie Hammond (Liberal), Louis Lesosky (Independent), Philip Ney (Independent), Randall Perwarchuk (Conservative), Tyson Strandlund (Communist Party), and Josh Steffler (Libertarian Party).
The polls closed at 7 p.m.
The riding of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke includes Esquimalt, Sooke, View Royal, Colwood, Metchosin and parts of Saanich.
– with files from Nicole Crescenzi, Tim Collins and Nina Grossman