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This article was published 23/10/2015 (1625 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The tides have turned in the federal riding of Saint Boniface-Saint Vital.
On Oct. 19, former city councillor Dan Vandal was elected as the new Liberal MP in the southeast Winnipeg riding, which had previously been held by Conservative MP Shelly Glover, who didn’t seek re-election.
Vandal garnered 28,530 votes, beating Conservative François Catellier (14,011); the NDP’s Erin Selby (5,169) and Green candidate Glenn Zaretski (1,119).
With the excitement of victory still sinking in, Vandal told The Lance he was looking forward to the political adventure that lies ahead as the early preparations to head to the nation’s capital are now underway.
"I feel really good. It’s getting more real every day," Vandal said. "Everything has happened so quickly. I’ve had a few calls from Ottawa already regarding orientations and moving forward."
The former social worker and middleweight boxer said he felt uplifted by the feedback he received from community members during the marathon 78-day election campaign.
"The mood was always positive and I had good feedback at the door. Lots of people told me they voted Tory last time. I was confident the party was going to win, both locally and nationally, but I was a bit surprised by the margin of victory," Vandal said.
"People want to feel good about Canada again and are tired of the negative politics of the last nine or 10 years. The overall message is we can do better and we need to invest in infrastructure and we need to invest in jobs. People have become tired of Stephen Harper’s negativity. I think the attack ads aimed at Justin Trudeau backfired in the end."
In terms of local issues that were raised during the campaign, Vandal said concerns about rail line relocation and rail line safety came up a lot during the campaign.
Vandal said there will be an orientation session in Ottawa on Nov. 2 to address matters such as budgets and staff.
"What’s refreshing is it’s a clear majority mandate, so that will give four years of stability. So far, this has been a wonderful journey, which started two-and-a-half years ago when I first met Justin Trudeau and his team asked me to co-chair the leadership campaign in St. Boniface," he said.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7111