OTTAWA - Monday's byelections gave Justin Trudeau's Liberals plenty to smile about: they bested their NDP rivals in one key Toronto riding, beat back a Conservative challenge in another and even delivered a strong showing in the heart of oilsands country.
Liberal superstar Adam Vaughan defeated New Democrat hopeful Joe Cressy in Trinity-Spadina, long a New Democrat riding once held by Olivia Chow, widow of beloved former NDP leader Jack Layton.
Further east in Scarborough-Agincourt, Arnold Chan, a lawyer and former political aide at the Ontario legislature, managed to keep the riding in the Liberal fold, beating elementary school teacher and Conservative candidate Trevor Ellis.
And in the northern Alberta riding of Fort McMurray-Athabasca, ground zero in the oilsands debate, Liberal Kyle Harrietha had some 34 per cent of the vote even as he went down to defeat at the hands of Tory candidate David Yurdiga.
"The results of these byelections have proven that our message is reaching and engaging Canadians," Trudeau said in a statement.
"Liberals' results and significant gains make clear that Albertans in particular will not be taken for granted. Voters have shown us that they believe that every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance at success."
Only in the southern Alberta riding of Macleod were the Liberals not a factor: former journalist John Barlow cruised to victory with about 69 per cent of the vote, well clear of Liberal rival Dustin Fuller.
Barlow wasted little time before declaring victory Monday.
"This is the culmination of eight months of hard work and it definitely feels worthwhile today. I thought this day would never come," Barlow said in a victory speech that came just 30 minutes after the polls closed.
More than 100 supporters cheered loudly when he entered the Italian restaurant in High River accompanied by his wife Louise and children.
"What this really came down to was passion and how hard we worked. The message we had is Macleod is not going to be forgotten. We cannot take Macleod for granted."
Barlow said he intends to locate his constituency office in High River, which has been decimated since massive floods last year turned the town's streets into rivers of water.
"If there's one issue that really bound Macleod together over the past year was that flood," he said.
"We have a lot of work to do and I will be here from this day forward to make sure that work gets done."
Scarborough-Agincourt had long been the personal fiefdom of Jim Karygiannis, a bare-knuckle political brawler who held the riding for the Grits for 25 years.
His decision to retire from federal politics to run municipally gave the Conservatives an opportunity to paint another suburban Toronto riding blue, appealing to the conservative, family values of the ethnically diverse population.
But despite papering the riding with flyers attacking Trudeau's support for legalization of marijuana, Conservatives didn't make much of a dent in Liberal support. Chan actually managed to increase the Liberal margin of victory.
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Craig Scott (NDP), Toronto-Danforth
<strong>Date:</strong> March 19, 2012 Scott kept the Toronto riding orange and replaced late NDP leader <strong>Jack Layton</strong> in Parliament, who passed away in August of 2011.
Joan Crockatt (Conservative), Calgary Centre
<strong>Date: </strong>November 26, 2012 Despite a bit of a scare from the Liberals, Crockatt kept the Calgary riding blue and replaced former Tory MP <strong>Lee Richardson</strong>.
Erin O'Toole (Conservative), Durham
<strong>Date: </strong>November 26, 2012 O'Toole replaced Tory cabinet minister <strong>Bev Oda</strong> who ran into some trouble over an infamous glass of orange juice that cost taxpayers $16.
Murray Rankin (NDP), Victoria
<strong>Date: </strong>November 26, 2012 Rankin replaced <strong>Denise Savoie</strong>, who resigned due to illness, and kept the B.C. riding orange for new leader Thomas Mulcair.
Yvonne Jones (Liberal), Labrador
<strong>Date: </strong> May 13, 2013 Jones defeated former Tory cabinet minister <strong>Peter Penashue</strong>, who resigned to run in the byelection amid spending concerns. It was the first big win under new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and, perhaps more significantly, marked the first time Conservatives lost a seat they previously held in a byelection since coming to power in 2006.
Emmanuel Dubourg (Liberal), Bourassa
<strong>Date: </strong>November 25, 2013 Dubourg kept Bourassa red after longtime Grit MP <strong>Denis Coderre</strong> resigned to run for Montreal mayor. New Democrats also targeted the riding aggressively.
Ted Falk (Conservative), Provencher
<strong>Date: </strong>November 25, 2013 Falk replaced former Conservative cabinet minster <strong>Vic Toews</strong>. The very conservative riding in Manitoba was never in doubt for the Tories.
Chrystia Freeland (Liberal), Toronto Centre
<strong>Date: </strong>November 25, 2013 Freeland replaced former interim Liberal leader <strong>Bob Rae</strong> in Toronto. New Democrats put up a fight but the longtime Grit riding stayed red.
Larry Maguire (Conservative), Brandon—Souris
<strong>Date: </strong>November 25, 2013 Maguire hung on to the longtime Tory riding in Manitoba, replacing former Conservative MP <strong>Merv Tweed</strong>, despite a spirited effort from the Liberals. Maguire secured slightly more than 44 per cent of the vote to 42.7 per cent for his Liberal rival.
UP NEXT: How Much Are Federal Politicians Making?
On April 1, 2014, members of Parliament received a 2.2 per cent pay increase, bringing the basic pay of each MP up to $163,700 from $160,200 the year prior. But while that base salary is the same for every member, certain MPs are afforded the chance to make much more. The full list of indemnities, salaries and allowances can be found <a href="http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/lists/Salaries.aspx?Menu=HOC-Politic&Section=03d93c58-f843-49b3-9653-84275c23f3fb" target="_blank">here.</a>
Member of the House of Commons
Tory MP Brad Butt (Mississauga-Streetsville) is an example of an MP who earns just the base salary afforded to all MPs. <strong>2014 Salary: $163,700</strong> There are currently 308 MPs.
Prime Minister of Canada
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, however, makes double the salary of your average MP. <strong>2014 Salary: $327,400 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>
Speaker of the House of Commons
Tory MP Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle) earns the base salary, plus $78,300 for serving as Speaker. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car allowance: $1,000</strong>
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair earns the base MP salary, plus $78,300 for leading the Official Opposition. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>
Treasury Board President Tony Clement (Parry Sound–Muskoka), like other cabinet ministers, earns $78,300 on top of the base MP salary. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong> There are 39 cabinet ministers in Harper's government (including ministers of state who make slightly less).
Minister of State
Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), like all other ministers of state, earns $58,700 on top of his base MP salary. But junior ministers do not received a car allowance. <strong>2014 Salary: $222,400</strong>
Leader of Other Parties
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the Green Party and Bloc Quebecois earn the base MP salary, plus $55,600 for serving as their party's top dog. <strong>2014 Salary: $219,300</strong>
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Tory MP Peter Van Loan (York-Simcoe) earns $78,300 on top of the base MP salary. <strong>2014 Salary: $242,000 Car Allowance: $2,000</strong>
Oppostion House Leader
NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster) earns the base MP salary plus a $40,600 pay bump for serving as Opposition House leader. <strong>2014 Salary: $204,300</strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/21/nathan-cullen-ndp-finance-critic-salary_n_5007937.html" target="_blank">Former NDP House leader Nathan Cullen recently took a $40,000 pay cut to move from that role to NDP finance critic.</a>
House Leader (Other Parties)
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour), earns the base MP salary plus $16,300 for serving as House leader for his party. <strong>2014 Salary: $180,000</strong>
Chief Government Whip
Tory MP John Duncan (Vancouver Island North) earns the base MP salary, plus $29,400 for serving as the Harper government's whip. <strong>2014 Salary: $193,100</strong>
Chief Opposition Whip
NDP MP Nycole Turmel (Hull—Aylmer) also earns an additional $29,400 for serving as the Opposition's whip. <strong>2014 Salary: $193,100</strong>
Tory MP Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham) is one of 31 parliamentary secretaries who gets a $16,300 pay bump on top of their salaries. <strong>2014 Salary: $180,000</strong>
UP NEXT: Pierre Poilievre Through The Years
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises in the House of Commons to apologize for making an obscene gesture yesterday, in Ottawa Wednesday June 14, 2006. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)
Ottawa-area Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre smiles as he talks with reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Tuesday Feb. 27, 2007. Poilievre referred to "extremist elements" in the Liberal party that want to ease anti-terror laws and shut down the Air India inquiry last week.(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson) Canada
Democratic Reform Minister Peter Van Loan (right), with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre looking on, makes an announcement on the introduction of the Accountability with Respect to Loans legislation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec across the river from Ottawa, Tuesday May 8, 2007.(CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand) CANADA ,
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises in the House of Commons to apologize for saying in a radio interview Wednesday that native people need to learn the value of hard work more than they need residential schools compensation, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday June 12, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson
With copies of the Conservative accountabilty booklets, Conservative M.P. Pierre Poilievre waits for the start of the Commons House affairs committee looking into allegations of Tory election spending misconduct during the last election, on Monday Sept. 10, 2007 in Ottawa. (CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks in the House of Commons during question period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday June 16, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, leaves a news conference after speaking with the media about the gun registry in the Foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday September 14, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday October 15, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre poses with a bust of Sir John A. Macdonald after announcing the former Bank of Montreal building would be renamed in honour of Canada's first prime minister during a ceremony in Ottawa, Ont., Wednesday January 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday February 28, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre holds up copies of legislation as he responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Friday October 19, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Pierre Poilievre is sworn in as the minister of state for democratic reform during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), poses for a group photo after the swearing in of the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Monday, July 15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
Minister of State Pierre Poilievre stands in the House of Commons during Question Period, in Ottawa Friday, February 7, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Minister of State (Democratic Reform) Pierre Poilievre responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, February 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
UP NEXT: The Fair Election Act
"The Fair Elections Act will ensure everyday citizens are in charge of democracy, by putting special interests on the sidelines and rule-breakers out of business," says Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre. Read more about the Fair Elections Act <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/harper-government-introduces-fair-elections-act" target="_blank">here.</a>
Crackdown On Illegal Robocalls
The legislation proposes a <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-protecting-voters-rogue-callers" target="_blank">mandatory public registry</a> for mass automated election calls, jail time for those convicted of impersonating an elections official, and "increased penalties for deceiving people out of their votes."
No More 'Vouching' For Your Buddy
In the interest of cracking down on voter fraud, the bill would prohibit the practice whereby one Canadian vouches for another's identity at a polling station. In fact, voter information cards will no longer be accepted as proof of identity. <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-fair-elections-act-cracking-down-voter-fraud" target="_blank">But the government says voters will still have 39 forms of authorized ID to choose from in order to prove their identity and residence.</a>
Independence For The Elections Commissioner
The Commissioner of Canada Elections office, responsible for enforcing the elections law, will be moved under the mantle of the public prosecutor's office, not Elections Canada. Conservatives believe this will give the commissioner <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-independent-commissioner-sharper-teeth-longer-reach-and-freer-hand" target="_blank">more independence</a> as the Chief Electoral Officer will no longer be able to direct him to carry out investigations. In future, the commissioner would be appointed by the director of public prosecutions to a non-renewable, seven-year term. The legislation <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/04/fair-elections-act-poilievre-robocalls_n_4723565.html" target="_blank">also bars</a> former political candidates, political party employees, ministerial or MP staffers or employees of Elections Canada from being named commissioner. <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-independent-commissioner-sharper-teeth-longer-reach-and-freer-hand" target="_blank">Tories believe the legislation will give the commissioner "sharper teeth" and a "longer reach" to seek out stronger penalties for offences.</a>
More Donations Welcome
The ceiling for individual political donations would be raised to $1,500 from $1,200 and party spending limits would be increased by five per cent. Union and corporate donations are still banned, though.
The West Won't Have To Wait
A long-standing ban on the <a href="http://www.democraticreform.gc.ca/eng/content/backgrounder-fair-elections-act-respecting-democratic-elections-defending-freedom-speech" target="_blank">premature transmission of election results</a> will be lifted, meaning voters in Western Canada will get to know how things are shaping up out East before heading to the polls. Broadcasters can share results from Eastern Canada on election night, even if the polls aren't closed in the West. The government believes this change will uphold free speech.
New Rules On Political Loans
The legislation would raise the amount candidates can <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/04/conservatives-unveil-fair-elections-act-which-they-say-will-crack-down-on-illegal-robocalls/" target="_blank">contribute to their own campaigns to $5,000.</a> Leadership contestants will be allowed to give their own campaign up to $25,000.
UP NEXT: Funniest Robocall Movie Titles
John Patrick Stanley