Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters in Montreal Monday night.

ELECTION 2015: Liberal majority reaches into B.C.

Justin Trudeau win means shift on Northern Gateway pipeline, move to legalize recreational marijuana sales

Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau extended his majority government into the B.C. Interior Monday, as Liberal Stephen Fuhr knocked off Conservative incumbent Ron Cannan in Kelowna-Lake Country.

Trudeau thanked supporters in his Montreal riding, and began preparations to implement his new government policies after nine and a half years of Conservative rule in Ottawa.

“For three years we had a very old-fashioned strategy,” Trudeau said. “We met with and talked with as many Canadians as we could, and we listened.”

Major commitments by the Liberal campaign include legalizing recreational marijuana sales and running three years of deficits to build infrastructure across the country.

Trudeau has also promised to scrap the Conservative government’s approval for the Northern Gateway pipeline and enforce a ban on oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s north coast.

The Conservative Party issued a statement that Stephen Harper would resign as leader but would stay on as MP in his Calgary riding, where he won a seventh term.

“While tonight’s result is not what we had hoped for, the Canadian people are never wrong,” Harper told supporters, adding his congratulations to Trudeau.

On Vancouver Island, seven-time Conservative MP John Duncan was knocked off by NDP challenger Gord Johns in Courtenay-Alberni, one of the new seats created for the 2015 election.

While the Liberals picked up several Lower Mainland seats, traditional voting patterns held up in much of the province. Conservatives Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo) and Mel Arnold (North Okanagan-Shuswap) won their seats.

In Victoria, NDP incumbent Murray Rankin held off a challenge from the Green Party’s Jo-Ann Roberts in a seat where the Liberal candidate resigned over inappropriate comments on social media. Green Party leader Elizabeth May was re-elected in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

The NDP held the B.C. coast, with Rachel Blaney winning North Island-Powell River and veteran North Coast NDP MP Nathan Cullen re-elected in Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

 

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