A sample ballot box is seen ahead of the 2019 federal election at Elections Canada's offices in Gatineau, Que., Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Recounts demanded in four ridings, as deadline to challenge result passes

Recounts demanded in four ridings, as deadline to challenge result passes

OTTAWA — Voters in four ridings are still waiting for confirmation of who their MP will be, following demands from candidates that ballots be counted again.

As Elections Canada’s deadline passed for parties to challenge local election results, four ridings were facing recounts.

In two close Quebec ridings — Trois-Rivières and Châteauguay-Lacolle — votes were being counted again on Tuesday, after judges accepted demands for an official recount.

In two other ridings — Davenport in Toronto and Brome-Missisquoi in Quebec — parties have applied to the courts to have the votes recounted.

The Bloc Québécois candidate has called for a judicial recount in Brome-Missisquoi after losing the riding to the Liberals. Radio-Canada reported that Marilou Alarie said around 60 issues were raised, including the number of votes cast not corresponding to the number of voters.

In Davenport, the NDP lost to the Liberals by 76 votes. On Tuesday, NDP candidate Alejandra Bravo went before a court to ask for votes to be counted again.

According to the NDP’s director of communications, Melanie Richer, the judge granted permission for the recount in Davenport to proceed on Tuesday. Elections Canada has yet to officially confirm the Davenport recount will go ahead.

Richer said that when votes were tallied during a “quick recount” after polls closed in Davenport, 90 extra votes were “found” for the NDP.

The Davenport result was one of the closest in the federal election. Liberal Julie Dzerowicz defeated Bravo with 42.1 per cent of votes cast, compared to Bravo’s 42 per cent. Dzerowicz has represented Davenport for the Liberals since 2015.

The result was so close this time that it almost triggered an automatic recount.

Parties can go to court to request a judicial recount after votes have been checked and validated.

An automatic judicial recount is triggered if there is a tie between the two leading candidates or if the difference in votes is less than one one-thousandth of the total votes cast.

On Tuesday, votes were being recounted in Châteauguay-Lacolle, where the Bloc Québécois candidate defeated his Liberal rival by 286 votes.

The Liberals asked for a recount after a “potential anomaly” was discovered with a ballot box after the votes were validated. Typos in recording votes in the riding also had to be corrected by the returning officer.

A judicial recount also began on Tuesday in Trois-Rivières, where the difference between the Bloc and Tories was 92 votes.

The Conservative candidate, Yves Levesque, requested that the votes be recounted. The Liberals came in a close third in the riding.

Matthew McKenna, a spokesman for Elections Canada, said in Brome-Missisquoi and Davenport, requests for recounts have been submitted.

“It’s up to the courts at this point to accept or deny those requests.”

Ballot papers from every riding are stored for 10 years after a federal election in an Elections Canada warehouse in Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2021.

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press

Canada Election 2021