NDP sees silver lining in by-election loss

Linda McQuaig seen here giving her speech at The Hot House
Linda McQuaig seen here giving her speech at The Hot House (Linda McQuaig)

As losses go, this one had a bit of sweet aftertaste.

Despite losing to the Liberals in the hotly contested federal by-election in Toronto Centre on Monday night, the New Democratic Party’s candidate Linda McQuaig and supporters partied late into the night at the Hot House at Church and King street.

“We always knew this was a Liberal stronghold, and that it would be an uphill battle,”  McQuaig said.  “It was and we fought on. But the real point is what happens in 2015?”

The Liberal’s Chrystia Freeland captured 49.1 per cent of ballots cast, beating McQuaig and Conservative contender Geoff Pollock, and John Deverell of the Green Party.

Supporters of McQuaig came out in the hundreds to support her campaign, including Federal MP Olivia Chow, Trinity-Spadina, and the president of the NDP, Rebecca Blaikie.

One of the major issues in the riding is affordable housing.

“There is no new housing agreement with the federal government, and 200 000 residents across the country could lose their housing.“ said Chow.

Erin Weir, an economist for the United Steel Workers Union believed that McQuaig’s general approach to really focusing on the issues is the right approach.

“One of the important differences in 2015 will be a redistribution of [seats]. The new Toronto Centre will be a riding where the NDP is much more competitive,” said Weir.

[Monday] was about “sending a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” said Chow.