Recounts ordered in B.C., Quebec ridings after narrow federal election results

OTTAWA — Three judicial recounts are taking place next week in ridings where runners-up in last month's federal election are hoping a court-ordered review will snatch victory from the jaws of ever-so-narrow defeat.

Courts in Quebec and British Columbia have made the orders after hearing challenges to the results of the Oct. 21 vote; the recounts will take place over three days next week.

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First will be Monday in Montreal over the results in the city's riding of Hochelaga, where Liberal Soraya Martinez Ferrada bested Bloc candidate Simon Marchand by 328 votes.

A Bloc Quebecois source who was not authorized to speak publicly previously told The Canadian Press there were discrepancies between the final result and the number of votes counted in the ballot boxes, which is why the party contested the results.

On Tuesday, ballots will be recounted in the riding of Quebec after a provincial judge ordered the review on Friday. Liberal cabinet minister Jean-Yves Duclos won re-election by 325 votes over Bloc candidate Christiane Gagnon.

And then on Wednesday, a recount will take place in the B.C. riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, where NDP hopeful Bonita Zarrillo lost to Conservative Nelly Shin by just 153 votes.

The New Democrats argued that there were 516 rejected ballots — an unusually high number — along with evidence of a counting error in one poll and more than 250 unaccounted ballots. Combined, the party believed a judicial review was warranted.

Elections Canada will publish the results online.

Overturning any of the results wouldn't change the overall outcome from the election, where the Liberals won a plurality of seats in the House of Commons, but failed to earn a majority. Nor would the Conservatives be bumped from their spot as official Opposition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2019.

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