When Parliament resumes Dec. 5, it will do so with a new MP presiding over Hastings-Lennox and Addington.
Out is Liberal Mike Bossio, in is Conservative Derek Sloan. Hastings-Lennox Addington was one of 27 previously Liberal held ridings to vote for a change in 2019 in last month’s election. Given the long-standing history of this riding, Bossio’s loss isn’t overly surprising. In fact his win by a couple hundred votes was deemed as one of the biggest upsets to come out of 2015, when the Liberals made a late charge to secure a majority government. On the other hand, given all Bossio was able to do for the riding over the last four years, the fact he wasn’t re-elected has raised a few eye-brows.
A champion of the environment for decades before seeking office, Bossio continued to advocate the fight against climate change while also securing a huge funding increase for rural broadband infrastructure. And even the most staunch of Conservative supporters would have had a hard time not tapping their toes along to Bossio’s catchy rendition of ‘Christmas In My Riding’, which he sang in the House of Commons to close out the 2018 Parliament session before the holiday break.
Of course that’s just one light-hearted example.
The first time MP accomplished quite a bit in his four years, seemingly making an infrastructure, grant program or child-care benefit increase announcement once every other month. No one offers an explanation on their ballot when voting, they simply mark an ‘X’ for the MP they’d prefer. Perhaps residents voted for someone else in an effort to keep Justin Trudeau out of office. More than one person has offered the phrase when describing Bossio-nice guy, wrong party. That’s not to say there weren’t people who felt Bossio wasn’t the right fit for a second term-no politician will ever carry a 100 per cent approval rating. As much as Bossio was able to do for this riding, if none of the funding announcements benefited a particular person they may have felt another party would represent them better. Perhaps they didn’t like the direction the Liberal party was headed as there were more than a few MPs who failed to be re-elected across the board.
While residents may disagree as to the benefits of what he accomplished, most would likely agree that few, if any, MPs worked harder for their riding.
As for Sloan, those who didn’t vote for him should at the very least afford him an opportunity to win them over based on his work over the next four years. He’s earned the right to an open mind from residents and to be judged on what he can do for the area. As a riding, we all benefit with a successful MP, regardless of their party colours.