By MICHELLE McCANN
Liberal incumbent Bill Blair has been re-elected for the third time as MP for Scarborough Southwest in Monday night’s federal election.
With 101 of 112 polls reporting in early on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 21, Blair had 57.3 per cent of the vote (19,269 votes).
Mohsin Bhuiyan, the Conservative candidate was in second place with 20.8 per cent of the vote (7,016votes)
In third was NDP candidate Guled Arale with 16 per cent of the vote (5,399 votes)
Other candidates running in the riding were People’s Party candidate Ramona Pache with 3.1 per cent of the vote (1,030 votes); Green Party candidate Amanda Cain with 2.5 per cent of the vote (839 votes); and David Edward-Ooi Poon, running as an independent, with 0.3 per cent of the vote (98 votes).
Blair spoke to a large crowd of exuberant supporters around 11 p.m. Monday night outside his campaign’s office on Kingston Road in Scarborough.
He thanked the community and campaign staff for their efforts throughout the campaign.
“It’s a humbling thing to receive so much generous support from the extraordinary people who make this community a better place,” he said.
Nationally, the Liberals have secured 156 seats – enough to form a minority government. In the 2019 election, the Liberals had won 157 seats.
With the seat count relatively unchanged, questions around the decision to call a snap election during a pandemic are being raised by critics.
Blair said much has changed in Canada since 2019 and so the party was seeking a fresh input from Canadians on issues ranging from childcare to housing to climate change.
“The mandate we received in 2019 was in a pre-COVID world – we frankly became far more ambitious in recovery from the pandemic, far more ambitious in our climate changes plans,” Blair said.
And he said he believes Canadians have given the Liberals a new mandate with Monday’s voting results.
As for his first job when he gets back to Ottawa, Blair said service to Scarborough Southwest trumps all.
“Job number one will always be the service to these people, the people in Scarborough Southwest who elected me,” he said.
Blair, the former chief of the Toronto Police Service, was first elected to the seat in 2015 with 52.5 per cent of the vote, beating NDP MP incumbent Dan Harris. In the 2019 election, Blair was re-elected with 57.2 per cent of the vote.
The Liberals have won the riding in every federal election since 1988 – except for the 2011 election – when the seat flipped to Harris of the NDP.