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Trudeau Acknowledges ‘Lot of Work to Do’ Following Unexpected Toronto-St. Paul’s Byelection Defeat

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed that his party still has a “lot of work to do” after a surprising Conservative victory in the byelection for the Toronto–St. Paul’s riding, which had been a Liberal stronghold for over three decades.

“This was not the outcome we desired, but I want to emphasize that I understand people’s concerns and frustrations,” Mr. Trudeau stated during a press conference on June 25 in B.C.

“These are challenging times, and it’s evident that I, along with my entire Liberal team, need to do more to deliver tangible progress that all Canadians can see and feel.”

The prime minister pledged that his government will “never cease working and fighting to ensure that people have the necessary support during these difficult times.”

According to preliminary results from Elections Canada, Conservative Party candidate Don Stewart defeated Liberal candidate Leslie Church by 590 votes. Mr. Stewart garnered 42.1 percent of the votes, compared to Ms. Church’s 40.5 percent.

The Liberals had held the seat since 1993, with former cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett serving as the MP for the riding since 1997. In 2021, she secured 49.2 percent of the vote, while the Conservative Party candidate received 25.3 percent.

Ms. Church, who previously served as Chief of Staff for Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, stated that voters had communicated a “clear message that they desire us to regain their trust.”
Liberal Party candidate Leslie Church greets supporters at an election night event in Toronto on on June 24, 2024. (The Canadian Press/Chris Young)
Liberal Party candidate Leslie Church greets supporters at an election night event in Toronto on on June 24, 2024. (The Canadian Press/Chris Young)

Mr. Stewart stated that his victory had conveyed a “loud and clear message” to Mr. Trudeau, and expressed being “beyond humbled for the trust [voters] have placed in me.”

Ms. Freeland acknowledged that while the outcomes were “disappointing,” the Liberal Party continues to endorse Mr. Trudeau as prime minister.

“Our focus remains on diligently working for Canada and Canadians and delivering outcomes for the country and its people,” she affirmed while addressing reporters on June 25. “That is the prime minister’s primary focus. That is what all of us are dedicated to.”

Greg Loerts, a consultant with BlueSky Strategy Group, informed The Epoch Times that the Conservative win in Toronto–St. Paul’s was a “significant upset in a riding that the Conservatives hadn’t secured in 31 years.”

“I believe this has definitely shaken the Liberal caucus to the core,” Mr. Loerts commented. “I think everyone expected a much closer win for the Liberals than in previous years, maybe even within single digits, but neither the Conservative side nor the Liberal side truly anticipated this shift to the Conservatives.”

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