‘Chomedey has its Liberal values still’

Voters choose Sona Lakhoyan Olivier as their new PLQ MNA

While the overall fate of the Quebec Liberals hung precariously last Monday night as election results from everywhere in Quebec rolled across TV screens, Sona Lakhoyan Olivier, the PLQ’s candidate in Chomedey, sprinted to a comfortable win, easily outdistancing her nearest rival by nearly 15 percentage points.

Jubilant mood at HQ

The mood at her campaign headquarters on Curé Labelle Blvd. was jubilant around 9:15 pm when at least one broadcast media declared her the winner in a six-way race that also included candidates from the Coalition Avenir Québec, the Conservative Party of Quebec, Québec solidaire, the Parti Québécois and the Green Party of Quebec.

Supporters of Sona Lakhoyan Olivier’s campaign to become the Quebec Liberal Party’s MNA for Chomedey celebrate with her last Monday evening at campaign HQ on Curé Labelle Blvd. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

At 10:49 pm, Élections Québec accredited Lakhoyan Olivier with 38.25 per cent of the total tally of votes (10,794 ballots).

Distant finishes

George Plantanitis of the CAQ was a distant second with 23.5 per cent (6,631 votes), followed by Konstantinos Merakos of the Conservatives with 21.7 per cent (6,124 votes), and Zachary Robert of QS, Rachid Bandou of the PQ and Sahbi Nablia of the Greens tailing with single digit percentages ranging from just under 8 per cent to less than 1 per cent respectively.

Newly-elected Chomedey Liberal MNA Sona Lakhoyan Olivier, left, is congratulated by Silvana Senattore last Monday evening at campaign headquarters. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

“We worked very hard,” Lakhoyan Olivier said in an election night interview with The Laval News. “I had a big team helping me out.” As not all of the 205 polling stations in Chomedey had finished counting their ballots, Lakhoyan Olivier seemed in a mild state of disbelief when told of her win, saying she wanted to see for certain “if Chomedey has its Liberal values still.”

‘What we need now is a strong opposition’

Newly-elected Chomedey PLQ MNA Sona Lakhoyan

Saddened by CAQ win

Reacting to the incumbent Coalition Avenir Québec government’s overwhelming second-term win, she said, “I guess the people of Quebec they want to continue with the same government where the PM [Premier François Legault] is running things by himself. I find this sad. I would have liked to see more choices: a government that respects all equally. It’s sad that this is where we are at.”

Quebec Liberal candidate for Chomedey Sona Lakhoyan Olivier (second from right) and supporters watched anxiously as the election returns came in last Monday evening before she was declared the winner. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Newsfirst Multimedia)

Despite the CAQ’s electoral success, Lakhoyan Olivier maintained that while in office over the past four years, the government chose to neglect certain communities, while striving primarily to please others. “What we need now is a strong opposition led by Dominique Anglade and the Liberals, which is the only federalist party,” she said.