Voters elect first Green candidate ever outside B.C.
TORONTO -- The Green Party has made history, electing a federal candidate outside British Columbia for the first time.
Jenica Atwin, the party’s candidate in the New Brunswick riding of Fredericton, won a close three-way race over Liberal incumbent Matt DeCourcey and Conservative challenger Andrea Johnson.
She is the first Green nominee other than Leader Elizabeth May ever to be elected in a general federal election.
“I feel incredible. I feel so excited for what’s ahead and I just want to get to work,” Atwin told the CTV News Election 2019 special.
Atwin, who works as a researcher for a First Nations educational organization, had also run for the Greens in last year’s New Brunswick provincial election.
That election resulted in the party winning a record three seats in the provincial legislature, spurring on hopeamong Greens that a breakthrough might occur federally. Fredericton was seen as the most likely place for this to happen, in part because the party finished third there in 2015.
Speaking on the CTV News Election 2019 special as early results showed Atwin with a slight lead, May said she wasn’t surprised by the result given the turnout she had seen at a rally in Fredericton early in the campaign.
“Jenica Atwin brings youth, enthusiasm, commitment. She’s personally highly motivated by issues of mental health and addiction. She is a spectacular and very warm and caring person, and I think that seems to be coming through to the voters of Fredericton,” May said.
Atwin said her first priorities as MP would include addressing the climate crisis and improving the state of New Brunswick’s health-care system.
The Greens were hoping recent success at the provincial level in Prince Edward Island, Ontario and B.C. would translate into a significant improvement on the two seats in the House of Commons that they had at dissolution.
Early returns, however, showed Fredericton to be an outlier, with the Greens falling short in their other targeted non-B.C. ridings.