In a stay-the-course election that saw Canadians elect a new Parliament very similar to the previous one, Northern Manitobans did not buck the trend, re-electing NDP incumbent Niki Ashton for a fifth term as Churchill-Keewatinook Aski Member of Parliament Sept. 20.
Ashton, first elected in 2008, when the riding was known as Churchill, captured 6,557 votes according to Elections Canada’s unofficial election night results, though 20 polls had not yet reported vote counts.
“Thank you so much to the people of Churchill-Kewtinook Aski for your vote, for your support," Ashton said in a statement posted on social media and sent to the Thompson Citizen. “I am honoured to receive such support from First Nations, Métis and northern communities. Thank you to everyone who came out during these challenging times to have your voice heard for action, for fairness, for justice. Thanks you to all who donated, volunteered and helped share our message.”
Ashton’s total put her 2,694 votes ahead of Conservative candidate Charlotte Larocque, who was in a dead heat with Liberal candidate Shirley Robinson, who got 3,856 votes. People’s Party of Canada candidate Dylan Young received 803 votes and Green candidate Ralph McLean got 493 votes.
“Congratulations to the other candidates on a good race,” Larocque said in a statement to the Citizen. “I want to thank my volunteers and the people that voted for me. I got the opportunity to hear from so many people about the issues important to them. I will continue to work hard to represent the voice of the north and our communities. No matter the final results, I look forward to continuing to create prosperity and positive change in this region.”
With 137 of 157 polls reporting, turnout in Churchill-Keewatinook Aski was 31.41 per cent of 49,579 registered voters, not including those who registered on election day.
For Canada as a whole, the Liberals gained three seats over what they had at dissolution of the 43rd Parliament, taking 158. The Conservatives were unchanged at 119. The NDP gained one seat with 25 while the Bloc Québécois gained two to finish with 34. The Green party took two seats, the same number it had when Parliament was dissolved.
“A new parliament means the same old fights,” said Ashton. “It still means holding Liberals and Conservatives to account when they cater to the billionaire class, instead of everyone else. It still means fighting for justice for Indigenous peoples. It means standing up for working people. It means calling for urgent action on climate change. it means fighting for fairness for our region. I’m honoured to have been trusted with another mandate. I’m looking forward to keeping up the fight for you.”