New Brunswick Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers defeated in Miramichi

New Brunswick Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers was unable to secure his seat during the province’s election on Monday.

Vickers, who served as the sergeant-at-arms in the House of Commons, then as Canada’s ambassador to Ireland before entering provincial politics, was defeated in the riding of Miramichi by People’s Alliance candidate Michelle Conroy.

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Conroy was the riding’s incumbent, serving as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Miramichi since 2018.

By 9:30 p.m. ADT, with nine out of 11 polls reporting, Conroy had secured 44.4 per cent of the vote for the Progressive Conservatives.

Vickers had collected 28.9 per cent of the votes.

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Kevin Vickers on what a Liberal government would do if elected in N.B.
Kevin Vickers on what a Liberal government would do if elected in N.B.

Liberal campaign manager Don Arsenault said the party had hoped the race would have been “a little tighter,” but that they knew it was an “uphill battle.”

“I find it’s unfortunate what we see here this evening, but we did have a good campaign. We’re very proud of the campaign we’ve run, we ran a very responsible, positive campaign.”

Arsenault said the Liberals also knew “from the get-go” it was going to be a challenge in Miramichi, saying Vickers was a “rookie” heading into this campaign.

“All the other leaders except for the NDP — they’ve been on this trail before, so it was trying to introduce the leader into New Brunswickers’ homes,” he said. “And it was challenging under a pandemic because you’re not doing the rallies, you’re not doing these gatherings that we have throughout the province, so it was a little bit challenging.”

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Decision New Brunswick: Kevin Vickers political career doesn’t appear to have a ‘lot of runway,’ expert says
Decision New Brunswick: Kevin Vickers political career doesn’t appear to have a ‘lot of runway,’ expert says

Vickers is best known for fatally shooting Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, moments after Zehaf-Bibeau killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a soldier, at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa, in 2014.

Global News has projected that Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservatives will form a majority government.

— More to come.

— With a file from Global News’ Ross Lord.

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