The Canadian Prime Minister scrapes in with a win but will have to rely on the support of smaller parties to form government.
Naveen Razik

23 Oct 2019 - 1:00 PM  UPDATED 23 Oct 2019 - 1:00 PM

Embattled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will need to secure support from Canada’s smaller parties after his Liberal party won the most seats in Canada’s election but lost its majority.

The Liberal Party secured 157 seats in the vote on Monday night, down from a pre-election tally of 184, sustaining losses in almost every province of the country.

In comparison, the opposing Conservative party, led by Andrew Scheer won 121 seats and the popular vote across the country but fell short of the 170 seats it needed to win government outright.

“From coast to coast to coast, tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau told supporters on election night.

"We will champion Canada in all its diversity. We will give voice to the voiceless and in every decision we make as your government we will always put this country and its people first!"

Trudeau’s prime ministership and his re-election campaign were marred by scandal, most notably revelations the prime minister had worn brownface on several occasions in his youth, tarnishing his brand as a progressive leader.

And in June, Trudeau’s government approved the construction of the Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline expansion through the Salish Sea in the country’s north-west, despite protests from local indigenous communities.

While his party outperformed all other parties, Trudeau will need the support of at least one minor party to form a government.

The New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh, is the most likely to support a returned Liberal government.

The NDP holds 24 seats and Singh has indicated that “everything is on the table” when it comes to negotiations.

“Our priorities are very clear [and] we want to make sure that reconciliation is taken seriously,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

"I want to commit to real change on the way we treat the first people in this land, the way our justice system treats people that are black, indigenous and people of colour. We need to have a serious discussion about access, education and resources."

Ten Indigenous candidates were elected to Canada’s House of Commons on Monday night, down one from the record number of MPs at the 2015 election.

In Vancouver, former Canadian Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould became the first independent candidate elected to Canada’s House of Commons since 2008.

After being expelled by Trudeau from the Liberal Party in April, the indigenous politician won her re-election campaign with 32.3% of the vote, almost three thousand votes clear of replacement candidate Taleeb Noormohamed.

Wilson-Raybould, who is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation, previously served in Justin Trudeau’s first cabinet, becoming the first indigenous representative to hold the post of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

But In February she resigned from her portfolios and testified to the Justice Committee, claiming the Prime Minister’s office had pressured her to intervene in the high profile prosecution of engineering firm SNC-Lavelin and convince prosecutors to drop criminal charges.

Trudeau then expelled Wilson-Raybould and fellow ex-cabinet minister Jane Philpott from the Liberal Party in April, after Wilson-Raybould released secret audio tapings of her conversations with senior officials from Trudeau’s office.

Trudeau described her actions as ‘unconscionable’, but Wilson-Raybould defended her conduct, saying on Twitter that she can “look myself in the mirror knowing I did what I was required to do and what needed to be done based on principles & values that must always transcend party.”

Despite her expulsion, Wilson-Raybould announced her intention in May to recontest her seat and was succesful in her campaign to be re-elected as an independent, a rare feat in Canadian politics. 

Additional reporting - Reuters