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Brassard returned to Ottawa for second term in Barrie-Innisfil

'It's a very different political landscape today across the country,' says Conservative victor

There were very few dry eyes among John Brassard's family, including the Conservative candidate himself, as he delivered his victory speech in Barrie-Innisfil late Monday night. 

Around 11 p.m., the incumbent emerged from a board room at the BMC lounge where he'd been watching polling results roll in to greet a few dozen family and supporters. 

"I can't say enough about the effort that everyone put into this campaign," he said. "Anyone who knows me, knows I get emotional. I get it from my mother.

"We ran a very professional campaign and we were very positive in our messaging with the residents of Barrie-Innisfil, and we all worked together to make this happen tonight, so I say thank you from the bottom of my heart," Brassard added. 

Brassard has been returned to the House of Commons for a second term in what appears to be a Liberal minority as votes continue to be counted across Canada into the early hours.

"It's a very different political landscape today across the country," he said. 

At midnight, with 149 of 181 polls reporting, Brassard was leading 18,313 votes, followed in second place by Liberal Lisa-Marie Wilson with 12,102, with the NDP's Pekka Reinio in third with 6,747 and the Greens' Bonnie North with 3,561 in fourth place. People's Party candidate Stephanie Robinson was in fifth with 762 votes. 

Brassard told reporters he will bring "a strong and pragmatic voice" back to the House of Commons on issues such as affordability, jobs and climate change. 

"It's an old Patrick Brown adage: there's no monopoly on a good idea," he said. "It doesn't matter if it's a Conservative, Liberal, NDP or Green idea, if it's good for Canadians then we have to work together to make sure that we function properly in Parliament and make sure we improve the lives of all Canadians." 

Brassard was a firefighter for more than 30 years before becoming a politician. He was on Barrie city council from 2006 until 2015, when he sought the federal seat.

In the 2015 federal election, Brassard won with 22,901 votes, or 46.4 per cent, followed by the Liberals (37.1%), the NDP (11.8%) and the Greens (4%). 

With the Conservatives, he has served as deputy opposition whip, urban affairs critic, and as a member of the shadow cabinet as the opposition critic for veterans affairs.