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Politics

Conservative candidate takes Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes by large margin

WATCH: Conservative Michael Barrett glides to victory in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

There was some drama during last night’s election as Canadians waited to see which party would form the next federal government.

However, in the riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Conservative Michael Barrett easily held on to his seat.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will form a minority government

The area has been a Conservative stronghold since Gord Brown won the riding in 2004.

After Brown’s sudden passing in May 2018, Barrett kept the riding in Conservative hands in a December byelection.

Barrett cruised to victory taking just under 50 per cent of the vote.

The Conservatives increased their number of seats in the 2019 federal election, and in his victory speech to supporters, Barrett showed no signs of easing up on the Liberals.

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“Justin Trudeau, he may talk about single-use plastics, but he really is a single-use prime minister and he doesn’t have four years left in Ottawa,” Barrett said.

READ MORE: Canada election results — Leeds–Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

The Conservative candidate’s closest rival in last night’s vote was Liberal candidate Josh Bennett, who said that despite the loss, he will remain active in the community.

“I want to see more people working from home, more of these city jobs coming to our area, I want to see us protect our environment,” he said. “That’s what I want to achieve.”

While Bennett wouldn’t commit to another run for office, he didn’t rule it out, either.

“We’ll see what happens with the minority Parliament,” he said. “We might have an election in two years. I’ll make a decision in a year or two whether I’m going to run again.”

Barrett is now focused on advocating for the people of his riding and pushing the agenda he’s heard from municipal leaders.

“The issues that were identified to us by the municipalities has been broadband access, has been cellphone coverage, has been infrastructure investment,” he said.

READ MORE: 63% of Canadians believe Scheer should resign for not winning majority — Ipsos exit poll

Before the writ dropped, Barrett was on the standing committee for justice and human rights and was the shadow deputy minister for small business and exports.

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When asked if he anticipated a critic’s portfolio for the upcoming term, he deferred to the decision of Conservative Leader Andrew Sheer.

“I would welcome a call from our leader with any assignment he needs assistance with.”