Lexi Bainas and Kevin Laird
Riding the wave of continued support for the New Democratic Party in the Cowichan Valley, Alistair MacGregor captured the new riding of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford in Monday’s federal election.
MacGregor, who worked for retired NDP MP Jean Crowder for years, won the riding by a landslide of more than several thousand votes ahead of Conservative candidate Martin Barker and Liberal Luke Krayenhoff.
“The people of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford have sent a clear message tonight.” MacGregor said. “You voted for change. Rejecting the politics of fear and division, you voted for a better and more inlusive Canada. And that was a good thing.”
He assured everyone, even those who supported other candidates, that he was “going to fight for those values every single day.” He thanked his team, “especially for keeping going when we were so tired after an 11-week campaign.”
The other West Shore riding saw a tight race as the votes began being counted, but in the end, New Democrat incumbent Randall Garrison was re-elected to the realigned riding of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke on Monday night.
Garrison was in a battle early on with unheralded Liberal David Merner, but managed to pull away as the poll numbers came in.
He was declared elected by the time 50 of 229 polls were counted, having built a lead of more than 700 votes. Garrison called his victory “bittersweet, but added “I’m looking forward to working hard over the next four years and I’m going to keep the Liberals’ feet to the fire.” Among other things, he vowed to ensure the Liberals keep their promise to review the Bill C-51 anti-terror bill.
Asked how he would do that as a member of the third party in Parliament, he said, “New Democrats have always had a strong voice and being the third party won’t change that.”