CBC wrongly calls Quebec election, candidate gives victory speech only to lose shortly after

The french CBC (Radio-Canada) wrongly called the result of the Quebec city mayorship, leading to an embarrassing victory speech by a defeated candidate.

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Radio-Canada called the race in favour of Marie-Josée Savard very early into the election night as Savard held a lead of over ten points. 

Savard has been the favourite candidate of Quebec’s left-wing media apparatus. Savard promised to build an expensive tramway in Quebec city despite the project’s numerous criticisms. 

After CBC claimed Savard had been “elected”, all other media outlets followed and called the election. At 9 pm, Savard gave her victory speech. 

Throughout Savard’s victory speech, her lead kept narrowing. By 10 pm eastern, her lead was down to about 1%. 

At the end of the night, Bruno Marchand won the mayorship with 32.3% of the votes, ahead of Savard by 834 votes. Marchand, Quebec’s new mayor, only started getting involved in politics in April 2021. 

CBC did not publicly apologize to Savard for putting her in a difficult situation, giving a victory speech only to lose shortly after. 

The erroneous call has also put into question CBC’s journalistic practices. The trust of Canadians in the publicly-funded media has been dwindling in the past years as the CBC has strayed further to the left of the political spectrum, often engaging in activism rather than journalism.

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