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This article was published 21/9/2021 (249 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Many Canadians had gone to bed by the time federal party leaders gave their election concession and victory speeches Monday night.
After a brief but intense campaign, leaders found themselves trying to put the best possible spin on results that largely resemble those of the 2019 election.
Here are some of the highlights of what each leader said as they addressed their supporters.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau tried to craft a message of hope and unity as he took to a podium in Montreal in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“What we’ve seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan. Some have talked about division, but that’s not what I see. That’s not what I've seen these past weeks, across the country. I see Canadians, standing together.
“Together, in your determination to end this pandemic. Together for real climate action, for $10-a-day child care, for homes that are … for middle-class families. For our shared journey on the path of reconciliation. As Canadians, you’ve elected parliamentarians to deliver on all this, and our team, our government, is ready.”
“Let us still more look to the future and all that is still to come and all that we have still to build together. Let us feel the warmth of a new dawn, and, above all, let us seize the promise of a brand new day.”
In the wake of his party’s defeat and possible challenge of his leadership, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole gave an energetic address to supporters in Oshawa that blamed Trudeau for an unnecessary election and warned of a more divided Canada.
“Five weeks ago, Mr. Trudeau asked for a majority. He said the minority Parliament was ‘unworkable.’ But tonight Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted. In fact, Canadians sent him back with another minority at the cost of $600 million and deeper divisions in our great country,” O’Toole said.
“Just days ago, he said he would hold yet another election within 18 months if he didn’t get his way.
“For too long we have been divided. For too long we have seen politicians pit region against region; neighbour against neighbour. But when we are divided, Canadians get left behind. Mr. Trudeau thinks Canadians should endure 18 more months of divisive campaigning so he can try once again to get the election result he wants. We need to heal the divides in Canada, not risk worsening them for selfish gains.”
The NDP leader started his speech by thanking his volunteers and candidates, congratulating the prime minister on his re-election and all Canadians for voting. Jagmeet Singh also stressed the crucial role he vowed his party will play in a minority government.
“We are going to continue fighting for you, just the same way we fought for you in the pandemic, you can count on us to continue those fights. We’re going to make sure that we fight hard to defend our environment, to make sure we’re fighting the climate crisis like we really want to win.
“I also want you to know that we are going to keep on fighting to make sure that the super wealthy pay their fair share — that billionaires pay their fair share so the burden doesn’t fall on you and your families.
“And I want you to know that we’re going to continue to fight for justice for the First People of this land, Indigenous communities that continue to be denied basic human rights, clean drinking water, adequate housing.
“I want to leave you with something that my mom always taught me as I was a kid. She always said that we are all one. And it is so true, we are connected. When people around us are hurting, we are also hurting. But when we take care of one another, when we support one another, when we lift each other up, we all rise. That’s what you can be sure of, New Democrats will fight to take care of all Canadians so that together, we all rise.”
Green Leader Annamie Paul celebrated the fact her party had secured two seats, even though she personally suffered another defeat — her third — in her attempts to win the seat in Parliament for Toronto Centre.
“It is hard to lose — no one likes to lose — but I am so proud of the effort, the creativity, the innovation that our team brought to this race.
“We need to ensure that whatever wounds were created during this election are not permanent.”
Failing to make many of his party’s hoped-for gains, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet was quick to pronounce the results more of the status quo, but also used his remarks to demand more money from the federal government for Quebec and other provinces.
“Quebecers are not expecting less from the Bloc Québécois and from each of our elected candidates,” he told supporters in Montreal.
“This hostage situation of the financial capacity of the provinces is threatening provinces and Quebec. ... It is a fight that the Bloc will never let go of.”
Nicholas Keung is a Toronto-based reporter covering immigration for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @nkeung