Advertisement
Politics

Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden defeats Lisa Raitt to capture Milton for Liberals

Adam van Koeverden, the Liberal candidate for southern Ontario riding of Milton greets people prior to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's town hall event in Milton, Ontario on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. .
Adam van Koeverden, the Liberal candidate for southern Ontario riding of Milton greets people prior to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's town hall event in Milton, Ontario on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Global News has declared Liberal candidate and Olympic gold medallist Adam van Koeverden has upset long-time Conservative politician and deputy party leader Lisa Raitt.

With 180 of 196 polls reporting, van Kouverden had captured 49.1 per cent of the votes.

READ MORE: Canada election results: Milton

Raitt had previously held the riding since 2008, defeating the Liberal candidate by nearly 30 per cent in 2015.

Under the Harper government, Raitt held a number of high-profile positions including Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Transportation.

Federal Election 2019: Adam van Koeverden awaits final numbers in Milton riding
Federal Election 2019: Adam van Koeverden awaits final numbers in Milton riding

Following her concession speech Monday evening, Raitt told Global News that she was thankful to serve Milton for the past 11 years but that the riding had changed, resulting in her not being re-elected.

Story continues below advertisement

“I ran a great campaign and obviously the riding has changed and that’s OK,” she said.

“The people of Milton have spoken. The voter is never incorrect, they always get it right, but I had the honour of getting to serve this community for 11 years and it’s been something that a lot of people aspire to do but never get the chance to do, so I’m actually quite content.”

The city of Milton, which makes up a large portion of the riding, is one of the fastest-growing communities in the province, according to census data, meaning many of those voting this fall may not have been around for the previous election.

READ MORE: Ontario’s Milton riding poised to be a nailbiter as high-profile candidates face off

In an interview with the Canadian Press ahead of the election, Raitt noted that the race was “tight” and that it would be a “little foolish to assume things would go the same way as they’ve done in the past.”

“I think it’s uncertain because we just don’t have data on everybody who’s moved into town and how they feel and what they think,” she told the Canadian Press.

Van Koeverden, who holds four Olympic medals in kayaking, largely centred his campaign around health and issues involving youth.

READ MORE: Live Canada election results 2019: Real-time results in the federal election

Story continues below advertisement

In an interview with Global News on election night, van Koeverden said getting out and talking to constituents is how his team built its campaign platform.

“I know that we’ve talked to more of our neighbours than any campaign here in Milton ever has,” he said.

“We’ve been very engaging, you know, we’ve been out there asking people what they want to see in a government and, you know, that’s how we built our platform — based on what our neighbours say.”

More information regarding SNC-Lavalin affair not public: MP Lisa Raitt
More information regarding SNC-Lavalin affair not public: MP Lisa Raitt

And as eyes were glued to the tight race in Milton Monday evening, van Koeverden says he was out door-knocking into the dying hours of the campaign, vying for every last vote.

Story continues below advertisement

“I knocked my last door at 9:08, 22 minutes before the polls closed,” he said.

“And the second-to-last door that I knocked was an Ecuadorian family that didn’t want to go and vote, but my friend Emily was there and she speaks perfect Spanish so we got them into the car and got them to cast two ballots.

“We’ve been pulling people out to vote all day and we did that over advanced polls and through early balloting as well so we’ve been doing our job,” he said.

Federal Election 2019: Lisa Raitt says she was ‘really happy’ to have represented Milton after loss
Federal Election 2019: Lisa Raitt says she was ‘really happy’ to have represented Milton after loss

— With files from the Canadian Press