Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux easily won the Winnipeg North seat he's held since 2010 and, despite Monday's mid-pandemic election resulting in another Liberal minority, he says it was worth it.
"It proves a great deal," Lamoureux said at his Maples campaign headquarters where music blared and masked supporters cheered and posed for photos with him. "I’m feeling good," he said.
Lamoureux had garnered about 52 per cent of the votes with 176 out of 177 polls reporting.
"At the end of the day, when we called the election, we were looking for a new mandate," Lamoureux told reporters. "Canadians from coast to coast to coast know what it is that we want to accomplish over the next couple of years," he said.
"Canadians want political parties to stop fighting and work together," said Lamoureux, who expressed satisfaction with Justin Trudeau remaining at the helm of the party. "I don’t think there’s any need for a leadership review."
NDP strategists had believed winning Winnipeg North was key to unseating the Liberals as the party people associate with social programs, particularly after the Trudeau government became the face of COVID-19 supports for economically stressed Canadians.
"This wasn't the outcome that we were hoping for," the Liberals' main rival, NDP candidate Melissa Chung-Mowat said Monday night, conceding defeat and congratulating Lamoureux. She had received 28 per cent of the vote with 176 polls reporting.
"We have work to do and the work will continue," said Chung-Mowat, who tried appealing to the grassroots to loosen Lamoureux's hold on the riding that includes the North End, with a large Indigenous population, blocks of overcrowded apartments and some of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada.
Want to get a head start on your day?
Get the day’s breaking stories, weather forecast, and more sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning.
The political novice took on a strong incumbent MP; Lamoureux is a seasoned politician known for his weekly availability at the McDonald's restaurant on Keewatin Street, where he’s met constituents since 1989, including during his term as a Manitoba MLA.
The NDP and its predecessors had held the area for most of the past century, and it pushed hard to get it back with Chung-Mowat, who is of Chinese and Métis ancestry.
Chung-Mowat vowed to run again and encouraged more women and underrepresented groups to run for elected office.
Winnipeg North attracted six candidates from across the political spectrum, including Robert Crooks (Communist Party of Canada), Angela Brydges (Green), Anas Kassem (Conservatives), and Patrick Neilan (People's Party of Canada).
At press time, the Conservative candidate was a distance third, followed by the PPC, the Green party and the Communist party.
Carol Sanders Legislature reporter
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.
Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux has held the seat since 2010, after 13 years of New Democrat representation under Judy Wasylycia-Leis. Lamoureux easily won the 2019 election with a 22 percentage point lead. His daughter, Cindy Lamoureux, has been the MLA for areas that overlap his federal riding since 2016.