INNISFAIL – Red Deer-Mountain View riding MP Earl Dreeshen has won his fifth consecutive federal election.
However, his impressive ongoing riding winning streak was soured by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals claiming its third straight win, with the last two, including last night's, by a minority.
Late in the evening on election night (Sept. 20) the Liberals had won or were leading in 158 seats, against 122 for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), 31 for the Bloc Quebecois, 26 for the NDP and two for the Green Party of Canada. The Liberals need to win 170 seats for a majority in the House of Commons. Official final results may take another few days due to the nearly 800,000 mail-in votes that have to be counted.
“I am disappointed. There doesn’t seem to be much of a change between what we had at dissolution and what we have right now,” said Dreeshen. “I was really hoping the results would be different but that makes it more important for us to stand up for Alberta and Alberta’s interests and to continue to work hard.”
As of last night, Dreeshen unofficially earned 64 per cent of the vote with 205 out of the 263 polls reporting, which was way ahead of second place finisher Marie Grabowski of the NDP who had 14 per cent. Kelly Lorencz of the People’s Party was next with 12 per cent. The Liberal’s Olumide Adewumi was fourth at seven per cent, Mark Wilcox of the Maverick Park followed at three per cent. Independent candidate Clayten Willington had just under one per cent and Jarod Pilon of the Libertarian Party of Canada came last with less than Willington’s total.
Although the People’s Party did not win any seats anywhere in the country, they still made an impact. Dreeshen said the People’s Party contributed to vote splitting in many eastern Canadian ridings, which adversely impacted the chances of some Conservatives running there.
“It’s very difficult in that regard. Once again, we see their leader (Maxime Bernier) not winning his seat but causing a number of conservatives to also end up having their seats going to the liberals,” said Dreeshen.
“It’s frustrating,” he added. “They do have a message and they’ve done what they can and that is what democracy is all about.
“But if the goal was, as many of them have told me, to get rid of this prime minister, they are certainly going about it in a way that is not very effective,” said Dreeshen.
As for the CPC moving forward, he noted there is proof his party is now pan-Canadian, appealing to more citizens across every region of the country.
“We had good support in the Maritimes, good support in Quebec, Ontario and in the west,” said Dreeshen. “So, we are the only pan-Canadian party, and I think that is very critical for us.
“That gives us something to build on to let people know just how we can try to solve some of the problems that we see.”