In an election where Canada’s political landscape remains relatively unchanged, local Liberal incumbent Marie-France Lalonde was able to retain her seat with relative ease.
Lalonde received more than 50 per cent of the vote in Orléans, while her nearest rival Conservative candidate Marie-Elsie Wolfe garnered 29 per cent of the vote and NDP candidate Janice Joanis got 15 per cent of the vote. People’s Party of Canada candidate Spencer Oklobdzija and Green Party hopeful Michael Hartnett finished well back with three and two per cent of the vote respectively.
Support for the Liberals fell by three per cent in the riding, most of which went to the NDP who gained 3.5 per cent. The Conservatives on the other hand only saw a marginal increase in support from 28 per cent to 29 per cent.
Voter turnout appears to be way down in Orléans compared to previous elections. With 237 of 238 polls having been reported, the total voter turnout stands at 67,793. In the 2019 election, 81,995 people voted in the riding and in 2015, 78,260 people cast a ballot.
When looking at the individual candi-dates, Lalonde received 34,795 votes on Monday compared to 44,183 votes in 2019, while Wolfe received 19,569 votes compared to the 22,984 votes Conservative candidate David Bertschi received in 2019.
Joanis was the only candidate who man-aged to increase their party’s vote count. The recent University of Ottawa graduate received 10,095 votes compared to the 9,428 votes Jacqui Wiens got in 2019.
The low voter turnout can be contributed to several factors including the timing of the election, coming as it did in the middle of a pandemic; the fact there were no burning issues that might mobilize the electorate; and a drastic reduction in the number of voting places which made voting confusing for a lot of people.
Whatever the reason for the low voter turnout in Orléans, an energetic Lalonde was grateful for the votes she did receive and the opportunity to return to the House of Commons in second straight Liberal minority government.
“I am so grateful for the trust the people of Orléans have placed in me to represent them as their MP for a second term,” Lalonde said during her victory speech.
“This is a win for Canada. Canada needs a Liberal Party because we will continue to advance what we need to do to ensure that Canadians are safe... that Canadians are healthy. This is not only a promise we made in March of 2020, that we have their backs, but we are continuing to do as we go forward with them.”
Locally, Lalonde plans to work on securing federal funding for a new building to house the MIFO Centre Culturel and she wants to work with the Friends of Petrie Island to replace the interpretive nature centre which had to be demolished in 2017 due to structural concerns.
Last, but by no means least, Lalonde wants to see the federal government’s alternative work hub pilot project resumed at Place d’Orléans and possibly expanded.