It was a bittersweet victory for Saskatoon Liberals Monday night as candidates celebrated a federal election majority win but lamented local losses in all three ridings.
Around 150 Liberal supporters gathered at the Sheraton Hotel to watch the election results roll in. At the announcement of a Liberal majority, the crowd burst into cheers and the national anthem, and candidates were greeted into the room with rancorous applause.
“I’m euphoric. I didn’t dare to dream that the Liberals could actually form a majority government in Canada,” Saskatoon-University candidate Cynthia Block said. “I’m so proud that there were enough citizens in Canada that said this is enough, we need change, we’re going to get the type of change we deserve.”
Her sentiments were echoed by fellow candidates Saskatoon-West’s Lisa Abbott and Saskatoon Grasswood’s Tracy Muggli. All three women were first-time candidates in the newly re-drawn Saskatchewan ridings.
“I was up in the (hotel) room with my kids and we were just jumping around and screaming all over the room,” Abbott said in reaction to the federal results.
Muggli, the director of mental health and addictions services with the Saskatoon Health Region said she is anxious to see the Liberals act on their promises to boost infrastructure spending and enact a bulk drug buying strategy along with a drug plan for seniors.
“It’s really thought to lose and I wanted to be a part of parliament to actually be there, to be a part of implementing the policies, but you know what, we’re still going to implement then and I can still be a part of that. I’m a citizen,” Muggli said.
In all three ridings, the Liberals came third place behind the Conservatives and NDP. The only Saskatchewan Liberal candidate to win his seat was long-time member of parliament Ralph Goodale in Regina-Wascana. However Abbott said they did not let a history of difficult Liberal campaigns stand in their way.
“We were always hopefully. Even when we were third place, we knew that we were putting forward the best plan for Canadians,” she said.
The trio spent the majority of their speeches thanking volunteers, staff and supporters.