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Winnipeg voters make choices at the polls, Liberals get clean sweep in Atlantic Canada

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/10/2015 (1346 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Liberal Party of Canada is elected and leading in 33 of 33 Atlantic Canada ridings as the polls close here in Manitoba.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals’ hopes for a strong showing in the nation’s east has been fulfilled as more populous Ontario and Quebec results are about to flow in from Elections Canada.

In Manitoba, where the federal NDP’s chances may be diminished by the unpopularity of Greg Selinger’s provincial government, the Liberals are also hoping to pick up seats.

At Westminster United Church in Winnipeg Centre, a steady stream of voters arrived as work ended Monday. One said he reluctantly voted for NDP MP Pat Martin. Another voter said she voted Liberal, feeling the party was the best of a bad lot.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/10/2015 (1346 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeggers come out to vote in Winnipeg South Centre during Canada's federal election Monday, October 19, 2015.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Winnipeggers come out to vote in Winnipeg South Centre during Canada's federal election Monday, October 19, 2015.

The Liberal Party of Canada is elected and leading in 33 of 33 Atlantic Canada ridings as the polls close here in Manitoba.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals’ hopes for a strong showing in the nation’s east has been fulfilled as more populous Ontario and Quebec results are about to flow in from Elections Canada.

In Manitoba, where the federal NDP’s chances may be diminished by the unpopularity of Greg Selinger’s provincial government, the Liberals are also hoping to pick up seats.

At Westminster United Church in Winnipeg Centre, a steady stream of voters arrived as work ended Monday. One said he reluctantly voted for NDP MP Pat Martin. Another voter said she voted Liberal, feeling the party was the best of a bad lot.

But voter Darlene Kemash said she second guessed herself briefly at the ballot box.

Winnipeggers come out to vote in Winnipeg South Centre during Canada's federal election Monday, October 19, 2015.

"For two seconds I had to make up my mind as to what I was going to do," said Kemash before listing off several NDP and Liberal policies she liked.

She said she met Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette and liked him, along with his party's pledge to spend $2.6 billion for on-reserve education.

But, as a longtime NDP voter, she ultimately stuck with the party, marking Martin's name on her ballot.

She said she expects the riding to be a close one tonight.

In Winnipeg North, represented by current Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, a voter said she had trouble at the polls.

"I'm not voting, I guess. I went in there and the lady told me I'm not on the list. I've lived in this area for 10 years and I'm not on the list. The lady told me this has happened to quite a few people. I'm not waiting in a registration line so I guess I'm just not voting. I would have voted Conservative," she said.

Kevin, another voter, put in a vote for Lamoureux in the riding that is home to several immigrant communities.

"I voted for Kevin (Lamoureux). He helps newcomers. It's my first time voting," he said.

Meanwhile,  some polling stations in Winnipeg Centre opened up to an hour late Monday because "a bunch" of Elections Canada workers cancelled at the last minute.

Spokeswoman Marie-France Kenny wouldn't say exactly how many people didn't show up as promised, but she added it was more than a dozen.

"A dozen people we're prepared for," said Kenny, who added that each polling station has a list of people on standby in case some workers aren't able to make it.

Lineups formed outside some polling stations as workers were brought in from other electoral districts. Kenny said some polls could stay open past the official closing time of 8:30 p.m. depending on demand.

Ouellette's spokesman Dougald Lamont said the delays were caused by a "staffing issue" which should be re-examined before the next election.

"Elections Canada in Winnipeg Centre faced challenges because they were expected to staff polls from people strictly within Winnipeg Centre, before allowing people who live in other ridings to work there," he said in an email. "So it is a staffing issue related to some rules that should certainly be changed in future elections."

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom at all polling stations across Winnipeg.

A steady lineup of voters headed to the Villa Cabrini in Osborne Village at the lunch hour and were in and out within 10 minutes.

Voters described it as a calm, organized atmosphere at the polling station in the Winnipeg South Centre riding.

First-time voter Emily McNish, 20, described her experience as "easy and self-explanatory."

"I had the longest line up and there were three people ahead of me," she said as she exited the polling station Monday.

Another first-time voter, Andrew Glowa, 22, said he thinks young people are compelled to vote this time around because the race is so tight.

"Every vote does matter and the economy is iffy right now, so if you want a say in how the country is run you should go vote," he said Monday.

Another first-time federal voter, University of Winnipeg student Reid Valmestad, said over the lunch-hour, his poll at Carpathia School in River Heights was quiet and voting was a breeze. The Elections Canada staffer who greeted him even praised him for being a relatively rare young voter.

This election, Valmestad said he expects a much higher turnout among young people.

"Even in school and all over social media, it's been everywhere, constantly," said the marketing student. "I think it's different this time."

Valmestad, who lives in Winnipeg South Centre, kept his vote to himself, but said he didn't vote strategically in a riding where many may be. And, even though social media has kept the election top-of-mind for young voters, Valmestad said his choice was influenced by something old-fashioned - a positive personal encounter with a candidate.

—with files from the Canadian Press

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History

Updated on Monday, October 19, 2015 at 8:33 PM CDT: Updates copy, changes headline

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