Green candidate Megan Mitton wins 11 vote squeaker in Memramcook-Tantramar

Megan Mitton delivers her victory speech at the Sackville Commons

Green Party candidate Megan Mitton told a roomful of supporters in Sackville Monday night that she would probably cry during her victory speech.

“So get ready for some tears,” she warned just minutes after Elections New Brunswick officially declared her elected in Memramcook-Tantramar with a razor thin majority of 11 votes over her Liberal opponent Bernard LeBlanc.

The final count was 3,148 for Mitton and 3,137 for LeBlanc. PC candidate Etienne Gaudet came third with 1,518 votes while Hélène Boudreau of the NDP received 410.

For most of the evening, Mitton, who is a Sackville Town Councillor, led with a seemingly comfortable margin of more than 300 votes until a later poll result suddenly cut her lead to only 11.

Mitton and her supporters at the Sackville Commons waited for more than an hour as her victory seemed to hang in the balance with one more poll to come. When Elections N.B. finally placed a capital “E” beside her name, the room erupted in cheers — and tears.

“Wow, that was a stressful few hours,” Mitton said in her victory speech. “The last few days, I’ve been going around saying every vote is going to count…it’s going to be close,” she added. “I’m an honest politician, I meant it!”

Green leader David Coon gives televised victory speech after winning re-election in Fredericton South

Mitton’s speech was interrupted by a congratulatory phone call from Green Party leader David Coon who was re-elected in Fredericton South while a third Green candidate, Kevin Arseneau, also won the riding of Kent North.

“David, I can’t wait to join you in Fredericton, but I’m at the mike right now giving a speech, so I’m going to have to call you back,” Mitton said to cheers and laughter.

Voters ‘send a message’

“These results send a strong message to our leaders that we care about democracy,” Mitton said as she continued her victory speech. “We care about our local economy, we care about our forests, our seniors, our youth and our future.”

She thanked her family and supporters before mentioning her father who died last year.

“My Dad’s not here, but he inspired me to do this,” she said as she fought back tears.

“I grew up in a Liberal household, he once ran for the Liberals for MLA and we always talked about politics,” Mitton said, adding that when she told him she was running in the 2014 provincial election, he asked for which party.

“I said, ‘the Greens’ and he went, ‘oh really, but don’t you want to win?'”

Campaign manager

Megan Mitton and her campaign manager Sabine Dietz celebrate narrow victory

Mitton gave special thanks to Sabine Dietz who served as her campaign manager.

“I remember meeting here last November and three people showed up, Sabine and I were among the three,” she said. “And now look, the room is full.”

Mitton said winning the riding involved canvassing door-to-door, dawn-to-dusk, in rainstorms and a heat wave while battling mosquitoes.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it was fun,” she said.

Note: Since Mitton won by fewer than 25 votes, there will be a recount to confirm the results.

To listen to Megan Mitton’s victory speech, click on the media player below.

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15 Responses to Green candidate Megan Mitton wins 11 vote squeaker in Memramcook-Tantramar

  1. Rima Azar says:

    Moving article—success after the hard work! I particularly like the part where Ms. Mitton talks about her dad. Thanks for sharing those beautiful memories.

    This being said, in French (and in other languages like Arabic), we say: *Le malheur des uns fait le bonheur des autres*. I mean by this: one citizen’s joy is another citizen’s sorrow. In other terms, Sackville’s folks (mainly the academic bubble?) are thrilled today (again, bravo to Ms. Mitton for making history in our province) whilst perhaps Memramcook’s people and other citizens in our riding may be disappointed, at least tonight (tomorrow is a new day). Anyhow, as far as I am concerned, I hope that Ms. Mitton will remember to stand up for ALL of us in the next four years.

    As for us, citizens of Sackville, I just hope that we will not let our today’s excitement turn into a sort of a political entitlement of some sort one day. In other terms, let’s just remember to keep NB first, before our ideologies (whatever they are).

    This being said, I repeat: Congratulations to Ms. Mitton and her team of volunteers (Dietz e al.), hoping that some of the odder Green ideas will be dropped on the way to Fredericton (e.g., toll-highways around Sackville, etc. 😊).

    Thanks and bravo to our three other candidates: Leblanc (an established politician with many achievements), Gaudet (if only for his career as a blue helmet—I tip my hat; very good performance for a first), and Boudreau (what an inspiring politician and woman–with a long career as a health professional)—you did a fantastic campaign each one of you– in different ways. As we say in French: “A la prochaine! Partie remise?” (= until next time maybe?)?

    As for your Mr. Wark (i.e., New Wark Times), as usual, what GREAT journalism. Thank you for your professionalism and for keeping us informed.

    • David Bailie says:

      From your last few posts I would say your support leans towards the ‘old line parties’ under whose Leadership this province has just kept sinking farther in debt with bad decision after bad decision. I think it is nice to see the electorate of NB willing to let fresh new ideas have a chance. Perhaps there are others willing to take a chance & move away from the ‘politics of our Fathers’ & be done with the ‘same old same old’.

      • “Fresh” and “Change” are over used .. didn’t the mayor Higham run on a “fresh” platform.. but it is still the same old same old in Sackville… and not much changes because fresh ideas are ignored from what I can see unless the ‘community organizers’ are promoting them.. its a big club and I don’t think most of realize that we’re not in it. Google Patrick Wood’s “Technocracy Rising” is a great book.

  2. Jim Throop says:

    This could be a very good thing for our riding where the green may hold the balance of power. I must say tolls would be the worst thing in the world for sackville, as another business person mentioned to me yesterday that all the traffic we get from pei would definitely take the Shediac route. If green wants to help stimulate growth please support cutting double property tax. I’m sure Myron is so very proud of his daughter smiling ear to ear, congratulations Megan.

  3. Carol Cooke says:

    Congratulations Megan!
    And I want to echo Rima’s sentiments: As for your Mr. Wark (i.e., New Wark Times), as usual, what GREAT journalism. Thank you for your professionalism and for keeping us informed.

  4. Green is the new red comrades… hey shut off those lights when you leave the room.. the party is definitely over for the libertarians around here… oy vey.

    • Marika says:

      It looks pretty bad, indeed. Don’t forget, though, that it’s in significant part because of the “student vote”, so it’s not as representative of the permanent population, though I’d guess that about half of the non-students in Sackville voted for her (I’m assuming only about 10% in Memramcook).

      The rest of the province looks a lot brighter. Sackville does seem like it has its head in a (green? red?) bubble. I guess these folks don’t ask themselves what would actually happen if their ideas were actually implemented. We may find out, depending on what odd form a coalition takes…

    • Rima Azar says:

      Dear Tantramar Landowners Association:

      We are a small town and people chat sometimes (when they are not afraid to speak their mind :). Did you mean libertarians a bit like this new federal political party (somewhat libertarian, I guess)? If so, I know of at least three other people around here who find a light of hope in Maxime Bernier’s new political party… One of them is a woman who made a generously modest donation from her own pocket, even without having ever voted blue before to use her own words. Others were surprised by an interview on CBC that seemed odd, artificial, and sadly non-professional (especially by a high calibre journalist like our Dear Wendy Mesley), regardless of whether they like or dislike this politician’s ideas.

      To build on the comment above, I keep noticing how the media in general (not only in Canada) seems less professional/balanced (which makes me appreciate even more the New Wark Times!). However, because I read and listen to both CBC and Radio-Canada (+ other media, of course), I notice a difference between both. In general, I find the French-speaking CBC (or Radio-Canada) much more balanced than the (English) CBC. I have no clue why… Maybe because of Quebec’s influence– perhaps due to its political diversity?). For instance, the French-CBC (Radio-Canada) has TV personalities who are rather openly Québec sovereignists (yet highly professional and with a sense of humour). They tease each other. They joke with their *federalist* guests (politicians, artists, etc.) or even among colleagues with different sentiments or ideas. I personally find this balance of ideas healthy and entertaining.

      • Libertarian thinking is about a movement away from big government.. CBC is part of the technocracy a communication arm of big government.. I expect more people esp young will find Maxime Bernier’s refreshing platform worth exploring and I will continue to advocate against the big nannystate being built by people like Julia Feltham [startups are nannystatism] and others like those who promote windfarms no one wants etc. Sabine Dietz is a technocrat and operates as a player behind the scenes.. I’ve kept my eye on her since her run for mayor and an interesting exchange we had online at that time.. around 2012 .. there is nothing wrong with promoting growth and development or fossil fuels for that matter but a green candidates is largely promoting the redistribution of wealth and dependency and green cronyism none of which I can get behind; esp carbon tax which is theft.

  5. Wendy Alder says:

    🤞 I hope she supports small business better as a provincial rep than she did municipally. Voting against a small business that wanted to expand to create new jobs through a drive thru and she voted NO. She did not get my vote!

    • Louis says:

      Or mine. But I suppose everyone guessed that already :-). It’s not like I particularily *liked* any of the parties – it became more of a matter of whom I dislike the least vs whom I dislike the most.

      “Green” is one of these ideologies that sound good… and continues to sound good, often making valid points… as long as it’s not in power.

      Put these folks in power (which happened to a good degree municipally, and actually might partially happen now provincially), and then it doesn’t feel so good any more. It’s sort-of like doing drugs: it feels good while you’re doing it, but not after!

      It’s not like I’m against protecting the environment, where it can be done effectively. A great example of something I fully support has been the getting of acid rain under control, which has been successful. I’d also like to see more of an effort made to see biodegradable plastics become a “thing”. But when “environment” becomes the be-all-and-end-all point of an ideology, everything else becomes subservient to it, and… total societal control, at a global level, is needed to make it happen. Someone thus gets the job of deciding what is “worth the environmental impact” and what (or who?) isn’t. This makes it an ideology that is very attractive to those who like control, and very *unattractive* to me. Consider that, ultimately, the only real way to minimise human impact on the environment is to minimise the number of humans (deliberately or otherwise). When it really comes down to it, I think that I thus see the “solution” as potentially much worse than the problem. The reality is, there are concerns that will probably “get” us a lot faster than environmental problems will.

      Fundamentally, I think that it’s dangerous to play God, and that’s why I don’t like these types of ideologies generally, while having lots of time to consider the *specific* concerns of their followers.

      • Rima Azar says:

        Interesting comment Louis. As always food for thought, I find.

        Perhaps the Green party (not just in our province) would need to do a sort of a reality-check from time to time (especially when it finds itself in power). This can perhaps be a mechanism to avoid radicalism (of thoughts, first, and of actions or decisions).

        Despite its FANTASTIC message of protection of the environment (who is against this?), I think I can also see the ghost of a risk of radicalism (that could put development in jeopardy), which ends up defeating its noble mission….what is the value of a green heaven if it is not prosperous enough to sustain human life in it?

        I personally see the greens like I see other movements in life. For instance, a certain percentage of green is wonderful– like the change in NB now. I also happen to see a certain high percentage of socialism in a society as being the ideal for the benefit of all….but when this percentage becomes close to 100 percent, history tells us how things can end. Not well. Of course, the same goes for too much capitalism without any humanity or social consciousness! However, a society can have all of this at once. Why not? Look at at Switzerland. What an ecological place— yet it knows how to take decisions on referendums when some particular issues (green even) may be too much for citizens. Citizens vote against some extreme measures. I have always looked up to this country that I find democratic in an apparently functional way (citizen-oriented).

        Perhaps things come down to simply knowing how to work in a collaborative and integrated way to find solutions or…. as you said very well, avoid worsening problems without radical solutions. In the end, too much of any good thing can become harmful if we do not show some flexibility and some common sense. Even too much of a God of some sort in someone’s mind/life (whether in the form of planet earth, of money, of any spiritual God… or of oneself, if people want to be that God) can become dangerous.

        I am personally very mindful of (allergic to?) to slogans like *saving* the planet OR… *saving* the children OR saving whatever else. I see a risk of a missionary-warrior attitude that could become a slippery slope, despite the noble intentions. Pushed to the extreme, I see analogies with other ideologies in the world that people found appealing at first but that became suffocating for their individual freedom. Pushed to the extreme, any noble idea can end up with a white-and-black thinking or even scary things like witch hunting one day: in some countries, it can be for collaboration with the enemy… Here, it could become in the form of accusing each other of being low on a sort of citizenship scale (of greenery or… of whatever else in trend in the future). We are not immune to this. Let’s not fool ourselves.

        To end up on a lighter note, sometimes, our own green coating is not as thick as the one of others around us. It is still green– strictly green or within a rainbow of colours, including green. Who knows? I may be talking about myself here because I am biased toward green. It is my mother’s eye colour after all :). Seriously, I miss her so much.

  6. François Donneur says:

    Congratulations. Bravo Megan. A well-deserved victory. Lots of hard work. As a Mount Allisson alumny I am proud of the entire community.

  7. François Donneur says:

    An inspiration for environmentalists all accross the country that goes beyond New Brunswick and interesting that the 3 seats targetted during the campaign were the ones won. Moving testimony about her father. Thank you Mr. Wark for bringing the local election night to the internet in a personal and professional way.

  8. Rima Azar says:

    Dear Tantramar Landowners Association:

    I started becoming interested in Maxime Bernier in August, 2018 because of his comments on multiculturalism or rather because of the disproportionate responses he got across the English-Canadian media. For me, all this seemed too absurd to the point of being funny. The funniest was that some Québec media (usually not fond of him; Québeckers are socialist in essence) titled their Editorials as *Maxime Bernier in a madhouse* or *Maxime Bernier is right*. I know Québec very well for having lived there for 15 years, visiting almost all its beautiful corners. I have always said that Québec is likely one of the best places in the world to live in, especially when you are a woman. It is welcoming, generous, progressist, secular, reasonable, etc. For me, the words of Bernier made sense as it is not only legitimate but especially crucial to focus on what unites us (as Canadians) or to cherish our SHARED Canadian/Western great values that has made us whom we are. It is specifically because of these wonderful values that immigrants from all over the planet came to Canada (or North America/Europe, by extension), including my own family– from Beirut, a city that represents a (good) marriage between the East and the West (in a country that is proud of its oriental roots yet embracing/aspiring to keep embracing the Western values).

    If I can allow myself to generalize here, immigrants (usually from countries with tragic stories) look up to the West and its values, namely individual freedom, dignity, heritage of civilization, to name a few. There is a beautiful French song by the Algerian-born French singer Enrico Macias called *Les Gens du Nord* about how people of the Northern hemisphere always open their doors to those who have suffered (“Les gens du Nord ouvrent toujours leurs portes à ceux qui ont souffert…”). These lyrics explain what I am trying to say. We are grateful. Period.

    Anyhow, to come back to Mr. Bernier, he seems like a smart and decent man (true to himself),
    whether we agree with him or not. Maybe this is why he scares some to the point of silencing him or not giving him a (genuine) tribute. In my humble opinion, everyone deserves to be listened to, including him. For me, he has a certain candour that I appreciate in a human being. Like you, I happen to like many of his ideas (maybe not all of them… plus, I do not have the time to try to educate myself on everything). As a Canadian citizen who has always considered myself to be in centre-left of things (I guess, in Sackville, I am considered the local far-right now… or would that be you :)?). I appreciate the common sense underlying Bernier’s ideas. For instance, paying less for milk (I drink 4 liters ever 7-10 days on average– yes at my age :)). I also SURELY would like to pay less on travels one day. It is absolutely not normal to pay more for part of a ticket within Canada than the part of the same ticket in Europe and Eastern Asia combined! I also would love to pay less for telecommunication like in other countries (it is ridiculous what Canadian consumers accept to pay). I may be wrong but I feel that Mr. Bernier’s pragmatic ideas can perhaps help us in reducing bureaucracy and monopoly of interest groups on governance whilst fostering prosperity and more empowerment to citizens. I am carefully watching him to see where he is going with his new party. Of course, I am also checking for any major mistake or faux-pas. Interesting political times, I find. Competition is good as it fosters everyone to: 1. Do better and 2. Collaborate in the end (ironically, better collaborations in competition– like researchers working on scientific grants).

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