By Ossie Michelin
APTN National News
Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones ousted former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Penashue in the federal Labrador byelection Monday.
The election was called after it was discovered that Penashue accepted tens of thousands of dollars in illegal donations in his 2011 election campaign. The riding his been almost always Liberal since it joined Canada in 1949, but Penashue’s 2010 victory changed that.
“People want to see (the Conservatives) gone and I think people in Labrador have started that process this evening,” said Jones at her victory party. “There’s a huge message in this…this is the first time the Harper government has been defeated in a byelection. This defeat should not come as any surprise to them. They’ve had the opportunity to do great things for Labrador, for rural Canadians, for Northern Canadians and they have chosen not to.”
She said voters not only elected her but threw their support behind the Liberal party and its leader Justin Trudeau.
Going into the race Jones said she knew Penashue would be her strongest rival. The NDP were never a factor in the campaign.
Jones won with 50.7 per cent of the vote with Penashue receiving 28.9 per cent and NDP newcomer Harry Borlase receiving an even 20 per cent.
She said her biggest priorities will be addressing issues of housing, jobs and transportation when she heads to will be heading to Ottawa next Wednesday.