Sukh Dhaliwal takes Liberals seat at Ottawa, after-vote party raises some eyebrows

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Surrey, B.C., Canada, September 21: Liberal leader and MP-elect from Surrey-Newton Sukh Dhaliwal has bagged a third consecutive term at Ottawa. A professional engineer by trade, he served as Liberal MP of its predecessor, the riding of Newton-North Delta, from 2006 to 2011.

As of Tuesday morning, 164 of 165 polls reported Dhaliwal in a huge lead of 18,488 votes, calculated as 54 per cent. His closest challenger NDP’s Avneet Johal who got 8,917 votes, followed by Conservative Syed Mohsin (5,369), PPC’s Pamela Singh (927) and Parveer Hundal (600).

Voter turnout in the riding is 52 per cent, or 34,301 of the 65,857 registered electors, a number that doesn’t include those who registered on election day.

Meanwhile, at Sukh Dhaliwal’s post-vote party Monday night (September 20), signs on banquet-hall tables urged supporters to remain seated throughout the evening, and that “masks are mandatory while standing inside.”

By the time the Liberal incumbent was declared winner in the Surrey-Newton riding, however, those pandemic protocols were ignored by many in the crowd of a few hundred excited people, who danced, celebrated and took selfies with the MP-elect.

Video shows the party happening inside Newton’s Grand Taj hall on the night of Monday’s federal election.

B.C.’s current COVID-triggered gathering restrictions prohibit dancing during inside events, and that “participants stay in the seat to which they are assigned, and do not move from seat to seat,” among other rules.

Dhaliwal wore a Liberal-red mask while greeting supporters, and only removed the face covering to speak at the podium in a voice made hoarse during the election campaign.

Reached Tuesday (Sept. 21), Dhaliwal said event organizers did their best to control the crowd.

“There were many security guards who made sure the numbers were OK and that nobody was allowed in the hall beyond the limit of the hall, and the vaccination was also verified to make sure people had that,” Dhaliwal informed.

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