Some new faces from the Fraser Valley are headed to Ottawa

Did you vote in the Federal Election? If you did, you were among the 17,890,264 (65.95%) of 27,126,166 registered voters in our country who did! Here’s a post-election wrap-up of who got elected and who didn’t in the Fraser Valley, and what we can expect from the results.

When Board officers and our Government Relations (GR) committee volunteers attended CREA’s Political Action Committee Days conference in Ottawa (October 6 – 8), they heard the thoughts and predictions of seasoned journalists, election candidates, political strategists and pollsters.

Leading up to the Federal Election, there was an over-arching theme to their comments – the election will be interesting but too close to call, there would be an emphasis on events over substance, attacks over policy, and a lack of voter enthusiasm for the current political leaders.

The election results

The speakers at PAC Days were right – the election results were interesting. Fraser Valley voters will be sending to Ottawa:

  • 4 new MPs
  • a candidate from a different political party in 3 ridings (compared to 2015)
  • 5 Conservative candidates
  • 4 Liberal candidates
  • 0 NDP candidates

Here’s a riding-by-riding breakdown of the preliminary election results in the Fraser Valley from the Elections Canada website (as of Oct. 22, 2019).

Riding: Conservative
Abbotsford Ed Fast (i)
25,028 (51.6%)
Seamus Heffernan
10,460 (21.5%)
Madeleine Sauve
8,164 (16.8%
Fraser Canyon
Brad Vis
19,271 (42.1%)
Jati Sidhu (i)
12,022 (26.3%)
Michael Nenn
8,004 (17.5%)
Tako Van Popta
28,953 (47%)
Leon Jensen
15,700 (25.5%)
Stacey Wakelin
10,418 (16.9%)
Langley City
Tamara Jansen
20,772 (37.7%)
John Aldag (i)
19,470 (35.4%)
Rae Banwarie
10,389 (18.9%)
Delta Tanya Corbet
17,638 (33.1%)
Carla Qualtrough (i)
21,969 (41.2%)
Randy Anderson-Fennell
8,654 (16.2%)
Port Kells  
Shinder Purewal
16,347 (33.9%)
Ken Hardie (i)
18,149 (37.7%)
Annie Ohana
10,293 (21.4%)
South Surrey-
White Rock
Kerry Lynn-Findlay
24,044 (42.1%)
Gordie Hogg (i)
21,319 (37.3%)
Stephen Crozier
6,558 (11.5%)
Surrey Centre Tina Bains
10,413 (25.5%)
Randeep Singh Sarai (i)
15,266 (37.4%)
Sarjit Singh Saran
11,166 (27.4%)
Surrey-Newton Harpreet Singh
8,511 (20.9%)
Sukh Dhaliwal (i)
18,328 (45.1%)
Harjit Singh Gill
11,854 (29.2%)

Next steps

Joel Schacter, Director & Chair of the Board’s GR committee says, “It appears there were no clear winners or losers in regards to the major parties in the Federal Election.

“Each leader had something to say about housing affordability and affordable housing in general. Home ownership became a high priority topic as polls showed this to be top of mind for many consumers. In the coming days, we will be meeting with MPs to remind them about what they promised to do and discuss additional measures that would benefit our clients and our profession. I believe with a minority government, we will have an opportunity to reinforce our issues in support of the public’s desire for home ownership and I look forward to the challenge that is ahead of us.”

Here is a recap of the Liberal party’s pre-election promises on housing:

  • fully-implement the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which provides Canadians with up to 10 per cent off the purchase price of their first home;
  • expand the Incentive to provide more help to communities in the greater Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria regions, by allowing homes valued at up to $789k to qualify;
  • address the impact of foreign speculation, which the party believes drives up housing costs, by putting in place a consistent national speculation and vacancy tax for non-resident, non-Canadians (we’ll have to see if this will be on top of the existing taxes in BC);
  • retrofit 1.5 million homes over the next five years by giving interested homeowners a free energy audit and interest-free loan of up to $40k for retrofits based on the results of the audit, with a cash incentive of $250 to $750 going to those who cut energy waste; and
  • provide a Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5k for newly-built homes that are certified zero emissions.

We will need to meet with all the local MPs, many of whom will be new to federal politics. Luckily, the GR committee has already started to get to know the new MPs through their support of nine all-candidates’ meetings leading up to the Federal Election. The Liberal party members need to be held accountable for their election promises and need to know that some of the other parties’ election proposals, particularly to do with the mortgage stress test, are worth another look. Given that the Liberals will be in a position to form a minority government, they will need to work with other parties who will also be looking to get their priorities addressed.

CREA says collectively, Canadian REALTORS® represent the oldest and single largest lobbying group in the country. We now have the opportunity to build on our past lobbying successes, which include a full chapter on housing in Budget 2019, including the introduction of the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, and an increase to the RRSP withdrawal limit to $35,000 from $25,000 and expansion in the eligibility criteria under the Home Buyers’ Plan.

Click here for a video of our other federal advocacy successes from CREA.