Wayne Easter smiled as he walked into the Cornwall Civic Centre to cheer of “four more years”. Supporters flocked to shake his hand and hug him.
Easter had a commanding lead the whole hour leading up to his projected win, holding roughly 40 per cent of the overall vote the entire time polls were coming in. At around 10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, the Canadian Press projected that the riding of Malpeque would be a win for the incumbent and the federal Liberal Party of Canada.
“I’d like to see all the polls come in, but I am feeling absolutely great, I’m also feeling humbled in the riding of Malpeque the constituents went with me another time,” said Easter at the time of his arrival at 10:30 p.m. on Monday night.
“I am pretty proud of my record and I am certainly hopeful we remain on the government side.”
He said that the theme of the election for Liberals was “choose forward” and to build on what the past Liberal government has done in the last four years, pointing at the new Cornwall bypass as an example.
Easter said he didn’t take this election for granted, being the 25-year incumbent, and said he has always been nervous and on edge when the polls start rolling in.
“The last thing you want to be in politics is over confident,” he said. Easter says he plans to focus on health care going into the mandate, and said that whatever kind of government formed, it should focus on forging a path forward to solutions and not just focus on a process to those solutions.
“These decisions impact people, whether it is an EI decision or a veterans decision it needs to be about results and not just the process.”
Easter said whatever the outcome of government is, there should be no reason why all parties can’t work together on creating results for Canadians.
“There is no reason why we can’t make things work and build a future,” he said. “With the mix of parties—it looks like—in this parliament, there should be ways found to make this work.”
Green Party of Canada candidate Anna Keenan stopped by the Civic Centre and congratulated Easter on his win. Keenan said she was disappointed with the result but said she considered the doubling of the Green vote from the last federal election a success.
“We are pretty excited about it, with the intentions for me to run in the next federal election,” she said.
“I think we were getting a lot of support for Green idea, the challenge was being a first-time candidate in a growing party, needing the volunteers and the ground game to get to those doors.”
Keenan said it was a learning experience for her, strategically tackling federal ridings differently than provincial ridings. She said many of the constituents she met during the run of the election were concerned about the climate crisis. Keenan said she was planning to hold Easter to those concerns.
“I think we have already seen it in this campaign, I think (Easter) realized he was up against someone who advocated strongly for climate change action and we saw him throughout the campaign make stronger and stronger commitments,” she said.
“I think the goal of the Green party is influence, not just to gain power; we want to see our ideas adopted. If that means the larger parties are adopting our ideas… then that is a success.”