It was a night of mixed emotions for Nanaimo Liberal supporters with the Liberals winning a majority government but local candidate Tim Tessier losing to NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson.
Tessier and his supporters were chanting Justin Trudeau’s name as he made his acceptance speech. For many, it was the change they were waiting for. Crowd members hung on every word the Liberal leader spoke, with attendees clapping, hugging and clasping their hands to their hearts in happiness.
Tessier said Trudeau took the Liberal Party from a weak third party to a strong majority government.
“It’s a testimonial of having the right message for Canadians,” said Tessier. “From a weak third party to a majority government is truly remarkable. I think it really resonated with Canadians.”
Tessier said he remembers the last time Canada had a Liberal majority government. He said it is going to change Canada.
“I’m really looking forward to that real change. It’s like a breath of fresh air, a new beginning,” said Tessier’s wife Nattalle. “It’s giving Canada a new beginning. It’s really just hopeful.”
Tim Tessier garnered a strong vote turnout, taking second place in the riding with 24.8 per cent of the vote. Joe Martin, who ran as a Liberal candidate in 1984, said the success of the campaign is thanks to the “sentimentality and sensibility” of Tessier as a candidate.
Padraic Hildebrand, Tessier’s communications and marketing director, said the volunteers worked hard over the past few weeks because they believed they could make a difference. Hildebrand volunteered for his position because he believed so strongly in Tessier’s policies.
“I believed in the campaign,” he said.