Election 2015: Liberal Jati Sidhu elected MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon

Supporters stayed at Liberal event until last riding in the country was called

Liberal Jati Sidhu make his victory speech.

Liberal Jati Sidhu make his victory speech.

Check out Vikki Hopes’ live blog with Conservative candidate Brad Vis

Check out live coverage of reporter Laura Rodgers at Liberal headquarters

Liberal Jati Sidhu has been elected as the Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

The race was called shortly after 1 a.m., after a nail-biter evening showing Sidhu and Conservative Brad Vis in a close race as results slowly rolled in.

The final vote tally for the evening was 16,606 votes for Sidhu and 15,547 for Vis. NDP candidate Dennis Adamson came in third with 9,167 votes.

Overall, voter turnout was close to 70 per cent — a significant increase from below 60 per cent estimated from redistributed results of the 2011 federal election.

Sidhu’s campaign event, at the Abbotsford Banquet Centre, was attended by a large group of friends and supporters — about 100 stayed all night to hear his victory speech.

“It’s exhilirating. The fruit ripens when it stays longer on the vine,” Sidhu said.

He’s already thought about his first priorities when he gets to Ottawa.

“Being a farmer, I’ll have to look after agricultural sustainability. And infrastructure — that’s another goal I have in mind,” Sidhu said. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to be spending a lot of money on roads and bridges, I’d love to work with the municipalities and local government to make that happen.”

He insisted on the importance of supply management programs and stakeholder input in agricultural and trade policy.

“We are operating a nation. But I need my stakeholders sitting on the table…I know first hand being a farmer how hard it is if you don’t know what you’re getting into it. Supply management is a bread and butter for a lot of farmers, and we have (thousands) of dairy farmers in this country, we need to protect their interest. They have generations and generations into that business.”

His well-attended campaign event showed the dedication of supporters, volunteers and friends.

“I can’t thank them enough. I think I said it in Punjabi, that I want to pay it back by serving my constituents. .It doesn’t matter who they voted for, I’m going to be representing the whole Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.”

Although the race was still uncertain at 11:20 p.m. on Monday, Conservative contender Brad Vis saw Sidhu’s small but consistent lead and opted to give a concession speech.

Vis said he was disappointed with the results, which at that point had Sidhu just 700 votes ahead in the battle that had gone back and forth all night.

“We are devastated but life is bigger than politics and who runs government,” Vis said at the Elks Hall in Mission, with wife Kat by his side.

Vis, who was at times tearful, said he was “really, really disappointed,” but thanked his supporters for “doing everything right.”

Although more than 35 polls had yet to report at that point, most of those were in the Fraser Canyon, which is predominantly NDP territory, and Vis didn’t expect Sidhu’s lead to wane.

Sidhu and Vis battled it out all night, with Sidhu holding the lead for much of the evening, with a small margin of between 150 and 600 votes. But the crowd in Mission went into a frenzy when Vis pulled ahead briefly at about 10:50 p.m. Sidhu regained the leas within minutes, leading to loud cheers at the Liberal camp.

The Liberals have swept the country to form a majority government with 184 seats; 170 seats are needed for a majority. Conservative candidates have been elected in 99; they will form the Official Opposition. NDP candidates have won in 44 ridings. The Bloc Québécois has 10 elected candidates and the Green Party one.

Residents of Mission and Matsqui were voting in the newly created Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Riding. The district was previously part of the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission electoral district.

The new riding contains all of Mission, along with portions of Abbotsford north of Maclure and Bateman Roads. It also includes the Eastern Fraser Canyon north of the Fraser River, and the Fraser Canyon north to Lillooet.

Despite the geographically large territory, the majority of the riding’s voters live in Mission and Matsqui.

Six candidates ran in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon: Dennis Adamson of the NDP, Arthur Green of the Green Party, Jati Sidhu of the Liberals, Brad Vis of the Conservatives, Elaine Wismer of the Marxist-Leninist Party and independent Wyatt Scott.

Green received 2,288 votes, Scott 911 and Wismer 57.

More than 9,000 voters in both the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding already cast ballots in advance polling. Across Canada, advance voting numbers were up more than 70 per cent.

At 7:50 p.m., NDP candidate Dennis Adamson said it was obvious from national results that the Liberals had run a good campaign.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” he said.

He said the issue of strategic voting, which may have played a part in the Liberals’ success in other parts of Canada, did not come up at the doorsteps when he was campaigning.

The overall results “are not what I wanted. But people have the right to choose.”

At 8 p.m., Green Party candidate Arthur Green said strategic voting played a big part in the overall results, nationally and locally.

“I did hear a lot about it, even from friends of mine. They said they were voting strategically because they did not want to see another Harper government.”

Green believes he could have got as much as 10 per cent of the vote if there had not been so much strategic voting.

Before results from the riding tricked in Monday evening, independent candidate Wyatt Scott said he hoped they wouldn’t be indicative of a majority government.

“I think a majority government is not a healthy thing,” he said. “People have forgotten about the Liberal government that we had before we had this Conservative one.”

Scott said minority government, which gives all MPs much more say in each piece of legislation, is a much better system. He is hopeful that the Liberals will examine other means of electing representatives, such as proportional representation, as was promised during the campaign.

“There are different ways we can go about it,” he said.

He has enjoyed taking part in the lengthy campaign.

“It’s been an incredible amazing opportunity and I have met many incredible people throughout the whole riding.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cemetery staff installed the wrong headstone on the grave of Jima Kiir, even though the headstone’s photo did not match with the photo placed on the grave. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mother upset city placed wrong headstone on son’s grave

Cemetery staff mix up graves of 2 recently deceased men from South Sudanese community

View looking south from Mt. Archibald, taking in the proposed ski terrain of Bridal Veil Mountain Resort, with Mt. Mercer (centre left) and Mt. Thurston (centre right, shrouded in cloud).
Ambitious all-season mountain resort proposed near Chilliwack

Proponents say Bridal Veil Mountain Resort could cover 11,500 acres bring in $252 million a year

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914. (Library and Archives Canada image)
Abbotsford city staff to work with 4 groups to commemorate Komagata Maru tragedy

Options to be considered for ‘lasting memorial’ to honour victims of 1914 incident

A photo illustration shows a fountain planned for Mill Lake. (City of Abbotsford photo)
UPDATED: City approves $200K fountain for Mill Lake using donated funds

Project will improve lake quality and ecosystem, say Abbotsford city staff

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read