Fredericton — The 2021 federal election has been tense for several ridings across Canada. One of the main ones being Fredericton, with a very close race between Liberal candidate Jenica Atwin, formerly with the Greens, and Conservative candidate Andrea Johnson.
“It was cool to watch the national news and see ourselves on it, talking about how close the race is between Jenica and Andrea,” said Tim Furlong, who was working at a local polling station in Nashwaaksis. “I’m not looking to leave that limelight any time soon, so I’m counting slowly, checking it twice. Let’s just enjoy it, I say!”
“We’re already pretty certain we’ve elected Trudeau again, as a minority government, federally,” said ballot-counter Kennedy Spears, working alongside Furlong, “but it’s really down to the wire here in New Brunswick’s capital. It was within 100 votes all night. I was biting my nails!
“That said, I’m taking a break from counting to go grab some Tim Hortons,” she announced suddenly. “Anyone want anything?”
With more than 2,000 ballots left to count, Fredericton returning office workers are confident they can drag this out all day, well into the evening, and if they’re lucky — even tomorrow.
“We’re in no rush. I mean, it’s not every day Fredericton makes national news. Except when Jenica defected to the Liberals. Or that time we were flooded, I guess,” Furlong said, after Spears had slowly taken the coffee order of nearly a dozen co-workers.
Residents of other ridings that elected their candidate early say it’s just like Fredericton to have to be special.
“Oh, they need all the attention. It’s always the way,” said Monctonian Yves Barnes. “Meanwhile, here, we just got into the polls, elected the same guy we always do, and got out. No muss, no fuss. But noooo, those uppity Frederictonians need to have the spotlight on them all friggen day. Typical.”
Our reporter visited another Fredericton polling station, where mail-in ballots were being counted just as slowly. We pointed out that 2,000 isn’t that high a number that it could require the entire day.
“When was the last time you counted to even 200?” said one indignant employee, who was alternating checking Facebook on his phone with tweeting jokes about the tight race. “Let alone 2,000? Honestly, a whole host of factors could affect the process. Oh, great, you made me lose count,” he added with a wink. “Guess I’ll start over.”