CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Enthusiasm for Philip Brown winning the Charlottetown mayoral race over Kim Devine was underwhelming, at best, from the thin crowd remaining at the municipal election results viewing party Monday at the Charlottetown Firefighters Club.
In fact, it was negligible, a collective “meh” as most of the dozen or so didn’t even stop talking when the announcement came from The Guardian’s Decision ‘18 Election Night Live! broadcast on Eastlink Community TV. Nor did they react to Devine’s losing – no sighs or swears of defeat.
Owen Shaw wasn’t shocked either by the reaction or the win.
“I’m not surprised. It comes down to third time is (a) charm,” said Shaw, referring to Brown’s successful third attempt at the mayor’s chair.
“It mostly came to my mind that there were two key leaders after that debate (at UPEI) and they wound up being one and two.”
The 22-year-old Shaw, a fifth-year business student at UPEI, kept his ear close the ground in the debates to hear talk of affordable housing. A member of the group who can’t find it, he lives in Belfast with his parents and he’s still not sure he’s heard the answers.
“This is where it comes down to affordable housing. I’m trying to move back to Charlottetown. I just hope the candidates didn’t just see we were students and used it as buzzword.”
Brown (6,136 votes) won by 929 votes over Divine (5,207). He thumped Jamie Larkin (1,160) votes), Cecil Villard (1,860) and William McFadden (200).
The result didn’t surprise Will McGuigan either.
Another fifth-year business student at UPEI, he’s also the student union president and would add transit to the list of problems younger voters face.
“I think the results were expected. I am a little upset. At the debates other youth issues weren’t brought up (like transit). The city is growing, and transit needs to grow with it,” McGuigan said, who’s also 22.
“(Affordable housing) was a selling point to electors, but Brown has a lot of work ahead of him.”
The event was organized by the Young Voters of P.E.I.