The historic gains in Quebec for the New Democratic Party in yesterday’s federal election — dubbed “la vague orange,” or orange wave, by the media — will see at least five university students, four* from McGill University and one from Université de Sherbrooke, take up seats on the Official Opposition benches in the House of Commons.
The four current McGill students who are now elected Members of Parliament are Charmaine Borg, Matthew Dubé, Laurin Liu and Jamie Nicholls.
According to the McGill Daily, Ms. Borg, who won in the Terrebonne-Blainville riding, is a political science student and labour relations officer for the Association of McGill University Support Employees, as well as NDP McGill co-president. Mr. Dubé, who won in the Chambly-Borduas riding, is a political science major and NDP McGill’s other co-president. Ms. Liu, who won in the Rivière-des-Mille-Îles riding, is completing a double major in history and cultural studies and a minor in Islamic studies, and is a McGill Daily staffer.
Jamie Nicholls, the fourth McGill student elected, but not mentioned in the Daily story, is currently a doctoral student at McGill’s School of Urban Planning, Policy and Design. He won in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
Three of the four, Ms. Borg, Mr. Dubé and Ms. Liu, each won nearly 50 percent of the vote, while Mr. Nicholls won a very respectable 44 percent.
Joining them will be Pierre-Luc Dusseault, a student of applied politics at Université de Sherbrooke, who won in the riding of Sherbrooke with 43 percent of the vote. Just one month shy of 20 years old, he is the youngest person ever to be elected to the House of Commons.
I should add that all five will be earning the basic MP’s salary of $157,731 a year.
*Addendum, May 4, 8:00 a.m.: According to an article in this morning’s Gazette newspaper, there were in fact five McGill students who won office in Quebec for the NDP. The fifth is Mylène Freeman, who is graduating this term. She studied political theory at McGill University for the past four years. The McGill Daily had mentioned Ms. Freeman, but indicated she was a “recent graduate.” Ms. Freeman won in the riding of Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel. This brings the number of university students who won for the NDP in Quebec to six. Congratulations to all.