CORNWALL – A meeting to congratulate the Conservative victor in SDSG wasn’t able to take place Monday night for Bernadette Clement.
The Liberal candidate showed up at Ramada Cornwall after 11:30 p.m. but found the room nearly empty. Many Conservative supporters had hit the exit door around 11:15 p.m., shortly after Guy Lauzon’s victory speech.
In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Clement attributes the tighter, more competitive campaign this go-around to her team.
“The campaign was wonderful. The campaign team was young…half the team was under 35 and the other half was made up of senior strategists from former liberal campaigns and it’s been wonderful to see those generations blend and create something quite electric,” Clement said.
She is thrilled to see Justin Trudeau leading the government for the next four years. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to bring great energy and strength to the role of prime minister. I’m happy to see that new leadership style. It’s going to better reflect what this country’s all about.”
“I want to say quite firmly that I congratulate Guy Lauzon on this win and I’m certain that he’s going to continue to work hard for this riding as he’s always done,” Clement said.
Responding to a question of whether the riding will be at a disadvantage with a Conservative MP while there’s a Liberal government in Ottawa, Clement said the Liberal’s infrastructure investments were some of the “most interesting” parts of the platform and she hopes “we’ll be able to see some of that investment here.”
The lawyer said she will be back at work tomorrow (Tuesday).
After being a candidate in 2011 and seeing the results Monday night, Clement said it was “incredible”. She believes the Liberals are a more organized party.
She said the 78 day campaign was helpful because it allowed her to meet more people in SDSG. “People could sense that change was coming so the conversations were far more interesting this time than the last time. I actually found it was a good thing to have that length of campaign.”
Clement wasn’t ready to commit to run again, saying she wants to concentrate now on city council which she “missed…tremendously” and her work at The Legal Clinic.
There are plans for the Lauzon and Clement to meet up to extend pleasantries in the next day or two.
On a lighter note, Clement had made a promise to trim her waistline after winning the nomination in late June.
“I did trim my waistline. Not as much as I wanted. I think I had said publicly that I was going to lose 15 (pounds). I did about half that…every bit counts,” she laughed.