SASKATOON – Saskatoon’s future Members of Parliament will find themselves in the opposition as the city failed to elect a Liberal MP Monday to join the upcoming majority government. Conservatives Brad Trost (Saskatoon-University) and Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood) as well as NDP candidate Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West) captured the three ridings in the Saskatoon area. Both Trost and Waugh will be members of the official opposition.
“We’ll do our best to make sure they pay attention and don’t ignore issues like agriculture and issues like infrastructure here in Saskatoon,” said Trost at his election night event Monday.
WATCH BELOW: Brad Trost discusses federal election
“We’re going to make them accountable,” said Waugh at a separate event Monday night.
“Justin Trudeau is going to hear from Saskatoon and Saskatchewan.”
The two Conservative candidates won their races by wide margins, but were aided by vote splitting on the left. In both the Saskatoon-University and Saskatoon-Grasswood races, the NDP and Liberal vote combined was larger than the conservative victory total.
“I think it’s telling us an important thing, that the progressive vote is here,” said Cynthia Block, the Liberal candidate for Saskatoon-University who lost to Trost.
The left-wing vote did elect NDP candidate Sheri Benson in the Saskatoon West riding. Benson said the victory was bitter-sweet, since the party had hoped to turn all three of Saskatoon’s ridings orange.
“We didn’t have the orange-wave right across the country that we hoped for,” said Benson at her campaign event Monday night,
“We’re still looking forward to the future,” she added.
University of Saskatchewan political scientist Daniel Beland said the Conservatives kept two of Saskatoon’s ridings because some parts of the city simply lean right.
“They have a strong operation on the ground and they have their base and these people showed up and voted,” said Beland, a member of the university’s Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
“Participation in Saskatoon was quite high,” he added.
Since no Saskatoon Member of Parliament will be part of the Liberal majority government, Beland said Premier Brad Wall will have to play a large role in advocating for local causes in Ottawa.
“There will probably be more engagement between the prime minister and the premiers than under Stephen Harper,” said Beland.
“We’ll see how Brad Wall engages with Justin Trudeau.”