Marci Ien, Ya’ara Saks elected in Toronto Centre, York Centre federal byelections

The Liberal Party of Canada has held onto two Toronto ridings after byelections in Toronto Centre and York Centre, but candidates from opposing parties have gained ground since last year’s general election.

Ya’ara Saks, a small business owner, was elected as the MP for York Centre after what was, at times, an incredibly close battle. At one point, Saks was just a single vote behind business owner and Conservative Party of Canada candidate Julius Tiangson.

It took almost four hours for all votes to be counted, but Saks ended up getting 8,253 votes and Tiangson received 7,552 votes — a difference of 3.9 per cent.

Read more: 2 Toronto byelections test Liberal government’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Maxime Bernier, a former Quebec MP and leader of the People’s Party of Canada, ran in York Centre and garnered 642 votes.

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The byelection results marked a notable drop for the Liberals. In 2019, Michael Levitt, who resigned in September, had a lead of 13.5 per cent against the Conservative challenger at the time.

In the downtown riding of Toronto Centre, veteran journalist Marci Ien, representing the Liberals, was successful in her candidacy to succeed former finance minister Bill Morneau after his high-profile resignation in August.

Ien came out on top with 10,579 votes. Annamie Paul, who was elected leader of the Green Party of Canada three-and-a-half weeks ago, got 8,250 votes. The NDP‘s Brian Chang came third with 4,280 votes.

Like York Centre, Toronto Centre has a strong Liberal past. Morneau beat Chang by almost three-to-one in the 2019 election and Paul was a distant fourth when she ran.

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