Ralph Goodale unseated after representing Saskatchewan for 26 years
REGINA -- After 26 years as a Regina MP, Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale was unseated on election night.
Canada’s longest serving Liberal; Goodale lost a tight race for Regina-Wascana to Conservative MP Michael Kram.
He spoke to reporters in Regina following his loss, and said he wasn't sure what would be next for him.
“I was riveted on this campaign and this riding doing the very best job I possibly could,” Goodale said. “I have no plans beyond this evening. We will see what unfolds in the future.”
He said he feels disappointment for his loyal voters, but mostly a "deep sense of gratitude" for all they've done for him in his 26 years as an MP in Regina.
Goodale was elected for the first time for one term, in the 1974 federal election in the now defunct riding of Assiniboia-Gravelboug. He was defeated in the following election.
He brought many things to Regina in his nearly 30 years representing Regina, including restoration of the Globe Theatre, renovation to the old University of Regina campus, revitalization of the CP Railyards and a new transit garage.
The day after the election, Kram stopped by Goodale’s campaign office to drop off a letter after unseating him.
“I just wanted to wish Ralph Goodale many thanks for his many years of public service, and I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life,” said Kram.
With Goodale gone, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere hopes the federal government remembers Saskatchewan.
“We have no representative in cabinet anymore with Minister Goodale being gone, so we hope he will take this to heart and actually listen to what Saskatchewan says, what Regina says and act on that,” said Fougere.
The last time Saskatchewan was left without a voice in Cabinet, the federal government appointed Senator Hazen Argue in 1980 to handle the province’s interests. However, it may not be possible to draw on senate experience this time.
“It is still a possibility, but Mr. Trudeau had made all the Liberal Senators independents four years ago and pushed them out of caucus, so I just don’t know how that would play out,” said Jim Farney, a political science professor at the University of Regina.
Goodale has not speculated on what his political future holds, but he has ruled out an appointment to Senate.