The Liberals are the traditional federal favourites in Atlantic Canada, and they kept their majority here with 24 of 32 seats. The Conservatives made some gains, taking three rural seats from the Liberals in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. No other parties won seats in Atlantic Canada, but Liberal Jenica Atwin from Fredericton is a new floor-cross from the Green Party.
Nova Scotia itself just voted in a new PC majority government earlier this summer in an upset election mostly fought over health care and the price of housing in Halifax. While some Conservatives had pointed to the PC win as a good sign for the federal election, NS PC leader Tim Houston had actually distanced himself from O’Toole during the campaign, pointing out that he was not a member of the federal party and instead running on increased health spending.
The Atlantic provinces have been fairly successful at keeping COVID-19 at bay and shutting down outbreaks. They also have weaker economies and higher median ages, however, so the cost of living, growing the work force and health care remain central issues. The Mi’kmaw moderate livelihood fishery, which was in the news last year when non-indigenous fishers damaged boats and equipment belonging to fishers of the Sipekne’katik First Nation, is still a big issue, with many Mi’kmaw fishers saying that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is overruling their treaty rights. DFO Minister Bernadette Jordan was one of the Liberal MPs who lost her seat to a Conservative, so this will be an issue to watch in the months to come.
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