By Andrew Thomson and Marc-André Cossette | UPDATED February 26, 2019 8:44amET
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will head for Ottawa to take the oath as MP for Burnaby South after winning 39-per-cent support in Monday’s byelection.
But the NDP lost a seat in Quebec, as Outremont went to the Liberal party’s Rachel Bendayan.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives held York–Simcoe, Ont. with Scot Davidson taking 53 per cent of the vote.
One riding will potentially elect the NDP leader to Parliament on Monday, Feb. 25. Another will replace the former NDP leader. And a third will send a new MP to Ottawa in place of a long-time Conservative.
Here’s more on the three upcoming federal byelections:
Burnaby South, B.C.
Jagmeet Singh’s last campaign, in 2017, went according to plan. His NDP leadership message of “Love and Courage” produced 54-per-cent support and a commanding first-ballot win.
Singh’s new campaign in B.C.’s Lower Mainland is a different matter.
With NDP numbers slipping in the polls since he took the reins, Burnaby South is a fight not just for a seat in the House but, potentially, to keep the leadership itself.
The 2015 election saw former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart defeat his Liberal opponent by just 1.2 per cent (547 votes). That made Burnaby South the 16th closest race out of all 338 federal ridings.
Stewart resigned last September to (successfully) run for mayor of Vancouver. And now Singh is vying to keep Burnaby South in NDP hands, moving from Ontario and promising to run there again in the fall election.
Singh’s Liberal opponent was initially Karen Wang, a former provincial candidate who positioned herself as a “committed local champion” with longstanding roots in Burnaby South.
But Wang stepped down on Jan. 16 after online posts came to light where she billed herself as the “only Chinese candidate,” while Singh was “of Indian descent.”
The Liberals have since turned to former MLA Richard Lee as their candidate.
Also running is lawyer and law professor Jay Shin (Conservative), the party’s general election candidate for 2019. The new People’s Party of Canada will put Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson’s name on the ballot. Thompson, a former talk-show host, ran for Burnaby’s school board in opposition to B.C.’s education policy sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Green Party of Canada won’t run a candidate, citing the traditional “courtesy” often afforded to party leaders seeking a seat in the House of Commons. But two independents are on the ballot: Terry Grimwood and Valentina Wu.
Burnaby South was created in 2013 by combining parts of two old ridings: Burnaby—Douglas and Burnaby—New Westminster.
And it’s where Singh will try to avoid being the first major party leader since the Second World War to lose a federal by-election.
Former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair held this Montreal riding for 11 years before retiring from Parliament in 2018. Before Mulcair, the area was a Liberal stronghold for decades. The list of MPs included cabinet ministers Marc Lalonde, Martin Cauchon, and Jean Lapierre.
Mulcair’s vote share declined in 2015, but was enough to best Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan. The lawyer, law professor, and former Parliament Hill staffer is again running for the Liberals.
The NDP’s Julia Sánchez, an international development and NGO worker, is campaigning to succeed Mulcair. Jasmine Louras is running for the Conservatives, with Daniel Green knocking on doors for the Green Party of Canada. Michel Duchesne is the Bloc candidate, with James Seale representing the People’s Party and William Barrett running as an independent.
Outremont includes the borough of Outremont and parts of the boroughs of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Plateau-Mont-Royal.
Outremont’s boundaries were adjusted following the 2011 census and the regular redistribution process. The riding crosses over the mountain and extends past Park Avenue to Rue Saint-Denis. From the south, it starts at the corner of Duluth and Saint-Denis, and moves north to Van Horne and the CP Rail line.
Geography professor Shaun Tanaka, the 2015 Liberal candidate, is again running, with community organizer Jessa McLean representing the NDP and Matthew Lunn on the ballot for the Greens.
Other candidates include Robert Geurts (People’s Party), Keith Dean Komar (Libertarian), and Dorian Baxter (Progressive Canadian).
York–Simcoe sits on the south shore of Lake Simcoe and contains Georgina Island as well as the east part of Cook’s Bay. The Holland Marsh lies in the riding – flat areas with fertile soil which grow a wide array of crops.
When former prime minister Arthur Meighen returned to lead the Conservatives, he sought a seat in York South, Ont. He lost the 1942 by-election and gave up the leadership later that year.