The sweetness of success doesn’t get old for Dan Vandal.
Vandal, 59, is thrilled to be re-elected as the MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital for a second term, having won the race in the southeast Winnipeg riding in the Oct. 21 federal election.
According to official results at Elections Canada, Vandal garnered 20,300 votes — which represents 42.9 per cent of the vote — to finish first. Conservative Party candidate Réjeanne Caron finished second with 15,436 votes, NDP candidate Billie Cross finished third with 8,037 votes, Green Party candidate Ben Linnick finished fourth with 2,671 votes, People’s Party candidate Adam McAllister received 591 votes, and independent candidate Baljeet Sharma finished fifth with 303 votes.
"It feels great," said Vandal, a former longtime city councillor who was talking to The Lance 36 hours after the polls closed.
"This is my seventh time being re-elected — this is my second time as an MP, and it was five times as a city councillor before that. It’s always a privilege when people choose you as their representative, and my priority remains the same — to represent my constituents in the House of Commons."
Vandal said this election campaign was a long one — "when you have a fixed election date, everyone tends to start campaigning early" — and it included knocking on thousands of doors in any number of conditions, ranging from the humidity in May to the recent snowstorms earlier this month.
He said while the Liberal Party’s "national brand took some hits," during the campaign, a new minority government provides the opportunity for some degree of collaboration.
"I have no experience of being in a minority government, but there will be the opportunity to focus on commonalities with other political parties."
Vandal said housing and environmental issues, specifically climate change are two examples of areas that need attention, and he’s also committed to continuing to prioritize investments in mental health and treatment for addictions. The pharmacare program is also on his radar.
"I’m honoured and privileged for the chance to represent the people in this riding again, and I promise to continue to work hard and build on all the work that’s already been done."
Vandal is also thankful for all the hard work of his team of volunteers during the campaign.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111