St. George – In what can legitimately be called a landslide, it took less than 20 minutes of polls being reported last night for Fundy – The Isles – Saint John West incumbent, Andrea Anderson Mason, to be declared the victor in Monday’s provincial election.
“I didn’t think that would happen,” said an emotional Anderson Mason from her campaign headquarters Monday night of the sweeping victory. “It’s overwhelming in so many ways. It’s so positive.”
Anderson Mason received 4,740 votes – a whopping 66.5 per cent of the final tally. The race was then thick, with little splitting the Liberal, Green, and People’s Alliance candidates for the region.
The election overall delivered the results Premier Blaine Higgs was betting on – a Conservative majority. Higgs and his PC party made a net gain of five seats, giving the party a majority government, and seeing Higgs as the first Premier to find themselves serving a second term since Bernard Lord, who served in the role from 1999 to 2006.
In a surprise turn of events, Liberal party leader, Kevin Vickers, found himself on the losing end in his riding of Miramichi. Vickers claimed 28.6 per cent of the vote there, while People’s Alliance Candidate, Michelle Conroy, took 45.1 per cent.
And will the PC majority see Anderson Mason in a better position to accomplish some of her goals?
“I never found the minority situation to be an impediment,” said Anderson Mason. “COVID is what brought everything to a grinding halt.”
Anderson Mason, who was serving as Justice Minister for the province prior to the snap election, said if she is once again blessed with the role, one of her biggest priorities in the job will be to “turn the family court system on its head”.
She wants an entire overhaul of the system, and admits it may take more than this four year term to accomplish. “It’s a multi-year project,” she said.
But as MLA for Fundy – The Isles? Anderson Mason said while she hopes people noticed she didn’t make promises throughout the campaign, for everyone to “get ready”, because there are some “great things coming.” As for a project she wants to attack immediately? “Rural internet,” she stated. “It’s a huge issue, and one that has to be at the forefront.”
But this morning, Anderson Mason plans to do what she loves – go back into her diverse riding, and talk to the members of the communities she serves, and see where they want her to go next. “They are the people I answer to,” said Anderson Mason.
“It’s always been about the constituents.
“They (the voters) must see me as the right person for the job,” said Anderson Mason. “I’d like to think that’s true. I’m almost lost for words.”
Fundy – The Isles – Saint John West final tally:
Andrea Anderson Mason, PC – 4,470 66.5 per cent
Tony Mann, Liberal – 726 10.2 per cent
Vincent Edgett, People’s Alliance – 688 9.6 per cent
Lois Mitchell, Green – 686 9.6 per cent
Sharon Greenlaw, NDP – 291 4.1 per cent