NDG-Lachine NDP unknown deals Liberals painful loss
By Robert Frank
For the first time since John Diefenbaker rolled to victory in 1958, a non-Liberal has won Notre Dame de Grâce-Lachine.
Riding on Jack Layton’s coattails, unknown 27-year-old Isabelle Morin has upset longstanding Liberal incumbent Marlene Jennings, 59, winning the riding for the New Democratic Party with nearly 40 percent of the vote.
Ms. Morin, who teaches French in the dramatic arts program at the École secondaire Cavelier de LaSalle is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in education.
In 2009, after being elected vice-president of the University of Sherbrooke Students’ Federation, Ms. Morin was elected to the board of the Mouvement Estrien pour le Français. According to the organization’s website (www.mef.qc.ca) MEF “opposes all political initiatives that aim to institutionalize bilingualism in Quebec.”
Ms. Jennings, the first black woman from Quebec to be elected to the House of Commons, had won the five preceding elections handily, each time garnering two to three times the number of votes cast for her closest rival.
A stunned silence reigned in her campaign headquarters as national poll results began to flow in, the whispers of ‘oh my god’ interrupted with only momentary elation at the news that Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe was defeated in his own riding. Ms. Jennings remained serene through the evening, often smiling and encouraging Liberal party workers. In conceding defeat, she spared kind words for no one and vowed that she planned to play a part in helping the Liberal party regroup and reunite.
Voters cast 17,943 ballots for Ms. Morin and 14,407 for Ms. Jennings. The Conservative candidate, Matthew Conway, polled 6,615 votes, Bloc Québécois candidate Gabrielle Ladouceur-Despins 4,003 votes and the Green party’s Jessica Lal attracted 1,914 votes.