Vandalized election posters mar an otherwise civilized campaign
Incumbent Laval-Les Îles Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury cruised to an easy victory in the federal general election on Monday Sept. 20, following a local campaign in which there were signs of acrimony from critics and opponents of the minority Liberal government which had sought to shore up its status since the 2019 election in the hopes of winning a majority.
On many Liberal campaign posters erected in Laval-Les Îles as well as in other ridings throughout Laval and Montreal, vandals painted narrow Hitler-like black moustaches onto candidates’ upper lips, a seeming comment on the Trudeau government’s sometimes unpopular measures over the past year-and-a-half to deal with the Covid pandemic.
El-Khoury’s campaign posters weren’t spared the treatment, although he took it in stride. “When people are weak and desperate and they dream of victory but know they will not make it, they will use every possible way and means to try and increase their vote,” he said. “But I think it has just reflected badly on them and has been good publicity for me.”
Among the supporters and volunteers at El-Khoury’s campaign HQ on Samson Blvd. in Sainte-Dorothée last Monday evening waiting for the results to come in was long-time local political organizer Claudette Lessard who has worked for decades on federal and provincial Liberal campaigns.
She wasn’t initially optimistic about the Liberals’ prospects, fearful that the Bloc Québécois would gain seats at the expense of the Grits.
Grateful for volunteers
For his part, El-Khoury praised members of the Punjabi and Sikh communities for the help they provided him during the campaign. “Some of the best and the strongest help on the ground was received from these communities,” he said.
El-Khoury also praised members of his staff for their loyalty and hard work, as well as his wife for the moral support and encouragement she provided him during this and previous campaigns.