Megan Mitton will be returning to the New Brunswick legislature with her two Green Party colleagues after being re-elected Monday night in Memramcook-Tantramar.
“I’m still feeling overwhelmed by all the support from everyone,” she declared in her online victory speech.
“Politics can be done differently. I’ve been working to do it differently the last two years and we’re going to continue to do it differently,” she added.
Mitton won 523 more votes than her nearest rival, Liberal Maxime Bourgeois and more than twice as many as Progressive Conservative candidate Carole Duguay.
During a telephone interview, Mitton acknowledged that she and her Green Party colleagues, David Coon and Kevin Arseneau, will no longer hold as much bargaining power after the Conservatives won 27 seats, a clear majority in the 49 seat legislature.
“It will be a bit of a different make up,” she said.
“One thing that is an advantage is that I’ve had the chance over the last couple of years to get to know some of the MLAs from the PC Party and some of the ministers and build relationships and be able to work with them across party lines,” she said.
“I’m really hoping to see the all-party cabinet committee that was addressing COVID meet as soon as possible so we can get back to the work of making sure that everyone gets through this pandemic, not just surviving, but living with dignity.”
Tense election day
During her victory speech, Mitton said she was proud that people had worked together on election day to protect each other’s right to vote.
She was referring to the dozens of Mount Allison students who were qualified to vote, but who faced hostile questioning and were warned by poll workers and a Liberal scrutineer that they would be committing voter fraud if they tried to cast a ballot.
Some students were turned away altogether. New Brunswick’s Chief Electoral Officer intervened to clarify the rules, but even after that some students were told they weren’t qualified to vote.
Sydney Thorburn, a Vice President at MASU who was helping with the get-out-the-vote campaign, told CHMA news that a Liberal scrutineer told her to tell students living in the Mount Allison residences to stop coming to the polls because they weren’t qualified to vote.
“My biggest concern is that students coming out telling me that they felt uncomfortable and that they felt unwelcome and they felt intimated by staff here, that they’re going to avoid elections in the future,” she said, adding that her goal was to educate students on the importance of voting to make their voices heard.
“I’m really worried that it’s going to discourage them from voting in the future,” Thorburn said.
For an-depth report on the problems Mt. A. students faced in trying to vote, click here.