• John Jantak

Nichols re-elected to second term as Vaudreuil MNA


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Provincial Liberal incumbent Marie-Claude Nichols gives a celebratory speech at her riding office following her re-election to a second consecutive term as MNA for Vaudreuil on Monday evening, October 1.

Provincial Liberal candidate Marie-Claude Nichols was re-elected to a second consecutive term in the riding of Vaudreuil on Monday evening, October 1, receiving 39.9 per cent of the total 39,171 ballots that were cast. Runner-up Claude Bourbonnais of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) received 32.6 percent of the votes followed by Philip Lapalme, Parti Québécois; Igor Erchov, Québec Solidaire (QS) and Jason Mossa of the Green Party.

Close race

Nichols, along with around 40 supporters, gathered at her campaign headquarters in Vaudreuil-Dorion apprehensively watching the election results as they were broadcast onto a TV screen and personal smart phones. Early results showed a close race between Nichols and Bourbonnais.

At around 9:20 p.m., Nichols was declared the official winner as family, friends, supporters and campaign volunteers resoundingly cheered her victory. Nichols made her way around the foyer, receiving congratulations and praise – and several complimentary handshakes, hugs and kisses from the young and old who had gathered – for a job well done.

Bittersweet victory

Nichols thanked everyone for their support throughout her campaign and pledged she would keep working on behalf of all her constituents regardless of their political affiliation. Reflecting on her win, Nichols said it was a bittersweet moment.

“I’m really happy to be re-elected but I’m a little bit sad too for my colleagues who did not win,” Nichols told The Journal after her victory speech.

One colleague – long-time Soulanges Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois who served her constituency for just over 15 consecutive years – lost to CAQ candidate and political newcomer Marilyne Picard. Charlebois won her first provincial election in Soulanges in 2003.

New opposition role

Despite her win, Nichols is somewhat apprehensive about her new role being a part of the opposition and having to challenge the ruling CAQ government about their future decisions that will inevitably affect everyone in the region.

“This will be my first time in the opposition,” said Nichols. “I don’t know how it’s going to be. There will be a lot of new challenges. I’m a little bit nervous because of the uncertainty but I’m not alone. I have a team with me who worked very hard to get me re-elected. I’m very proud of them.”

Pledge to serve everyone

While Nichols is confident she will be able to support the interests of her populace in the National Assembly, she doesn’t expect it will be smooth sailing with the majority CAQ government.

“From what I saw the past four years when the CAQ was the opposition, it won’t be easy to work with them,” Nichols said. “I don’t think they’re ready to govern. This is also why I’m a little bit worried.”

Despite the challenges ahead, Nichols said she will continue to raise issues that are important for all the people in the region and push them forward in the National Assembly as best she can. She also pledged to continue working with all the region’s mayors by advocating on their behalf regarding important issues unique to each municipality.

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