COLUMN: New tenants for the mansions of power?

If you think the cost of housing in Vancouver is ridiculously high, there are two “rental” homes in Ottawa that ...

On the Other Hand by Mark Rushton

If you think the cost of housing in Vancouver is ridiculously high, there are two “rental” homes in Ottawa that carry the price tag of a nation.

24 Sussex Drive is the residence of the Prime Minister; Stornoway home to the Leader of the Official Opposition.

If current polls hold, both will be getting new tenants following Monday’s federal election.

Then again, as Christy Clark demonstrated rather ably in 2013, polls – including those right up to election day – can be neither definitive nor accurate.

The day before the provincial election, the Vancouver Province ran a full-page picture of Adrian Dix with the headline “This man could kick a dog and still win!” He didn’t.

On Monday, roughly two-thirds of Canadians will cast a ballot to determine who will occupy our official national residences, and my guess is that at least one will see a change.

Currently, Tom Mulcair lives in Stornoway, while Justin Trudeau’s family occupies a rather classy rental just down the street. 24 Sussex Drive, also in the neighbourhood, was the childhood home of Justin for 12 years and I’m certain he, and the Liberal Party, is salivating over the distinct possibility that he could be its new resident in the very near future.

From the looks of it, Mr. Mulcair and family will be moving residences regardless, for even though the polls may be deceptive, the game is between the Conservatives and the Liberals with one or the other forming government after Oct. 19.

That means both Harper and Trudeau will be sitting at the head of the dining table in our nation’s residences of power, and until Monday night, no one has a true handle on which one it will be.

Change, however, could be in the wind if the advance poll voting turnout is any indication. From what I have heard, the numbers casting ballots over the past weekend far outstrip previous turnouts. Either the Conservatives rallied their troops early, or the Anyone But Harper camp was successful.

Needless to say, the possibility of a majority government for any party is slim to none, although, as British Columbia demonstrated in 2013, it is not an impossibility, and our province, the last to vote thanks to geography and time zones in this great nation of ours, could be the game-changer.

In fact, Stephen Harper may be betting on it because on Sunday he will be spending time not in Quebec or Ontario, but right here in B.C. and, for all those sporting Tory Blue, at a special event in Abbotsford.

I’m not sure of the reason for Abbotsford to be one of his last campaign stops, since the main riding here is about as unlikely to change its political stripe as Elizabeth May is to form government. However, we do have the new riding of Mission-Matsqui etc. that may need some propping up.

I also have to think that a riding or two on Vancouver Island and a whack of them throughout Metro Vancouver require some “prime ministerial rah-rahing” as well to change what otherwise might become a major swing to the Liberals.

Regardless of the end result of our national ballot on Monday, I have to believe the mansions of power in Ottawa will see some new guests.

Don’t be among those who can’t be bothered to determine what happens. Tens of thousands of men and women gave their lives to preserve your privilege to vote in a democracy.

If nothing else, observe and repay their sacrifice by voting on Monday.

markrushton@abbynews.com

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

Just Posted

Lakeland Flowers officially opened on April 14 and the U-pick flower farm has been attracting a lot of attention online. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers blooming for spring

U-pick tulip flower farm generating significant buzz online after opening this month

The charitable organization Mamas for Mamas is hoping to expand its services in Abbotsford. (Photo by Ratna Fitry from Pixabay)
National charity Mamas for Mamas looks to expand services in Abbotsford

Organization supports moms and caregivers facing struggles

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A recent virtual gala raised $150,000 for Abbotsford Hospice Society and its Holmberg House. (Abbotsford Hospice Society photo)
Abbotsford Hospice’s Light Up the Night gala raises almost $150K

Virtual event included pre-show drive-thru pickup of farm-fresh meals

Matthew Balogh was last seen in Abbotsford on Sunday, April 18 at 10 a.m.
Police seek help in locating missing 17-year-old in Abbotsford

Matthew Balogh was last seen at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 18

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

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