Both local MPs held onto their seats after Monday’s federal election.
In the Red Deer-Lacombe riding, Conservative Blaine Calkins was re-elected with 43,599 votes. Liberal Jeff Rock received 9,545 votes, NDP Doug Hart received 7,055 votes, while Les Kuzyk with the Green Party received 1,773 votes.
In total, 61,972 residents cast their ballots which translates to a 71.55% voter turnout in that riding.
In the Red Deer-Mountain View riding, Conservative Earl Dreesheen was re-elected with 46,244 votes. Liberal Chandra Kastern received 8,356 votes, NDP Paul Harris received 5,233 votes and Simon Oleny for the Green Party received 1,620, Libertarian James Walper received 445 votes and Pirate Party candidate Scott Milne received 312 votes.
In total, 62,210 residents voted in the south riding which was a 71.71% voter turnout in that riding.
“It’s a very humbling experience – it’s a fourth time for an election win,” said Calkins on Monday night. “I’m very grateful and I’m very thankful to the voters here in Red Deer-Lacombe. It feels bittersweet – sweet that I have another opportunity to go back to Ottawa, but obviously I’m frustrated with the national numbers.
“My job will be to represent my constituents and to hold the Liberals to account so they don’t neglect Alberta like they have done in the past. I think Canadians have chosen style over substance,” he said. “The Orange Crush (NDPs) now look like the Orange Crash. The premier’s endorsement didn’t seem to help him out anyways.”
Rock said he is proud of the campaign he ran and he is proud that Canadians chose a majority Liberal government.
“It’s very surreal. What democracy is about is everyday, average people stepping up to run in the hopes of building a better Canada and a better country and seeking to serve the people of the local constituency. I see myself as an everyday, average guy – I’m a minister by day, a community member,” said Rock. “It’s not necessarily about win or lose, it’s about engaging people and we’ve done that with such a success. I’m delighted and thrilled. We rocked this election.
“Justin Trudeau – what makes me so proud to be a Liberal and what makes me so proud to be part of his team, is that he said, ‘I will not go negative. I will speak optimism and hopefulness’ and he stuck to his word, and that makes me so proud. I think Canadians were a little bit wary of that at first – the negativity worked – I think Canadians chose optimism, hope, love, community and togetherness rather than divisiveness. I’m so proud of our country – that we have chosen that optimism.”
Earl Dreeshen, Conservative incumbent for Red Deer–Mountain View, said the support he’s been shown has been extremely gratifying.
“I’m so proud of the team that we have, and I just want to thank you for being here,” he told supporters at the Sheraton Hotel Monday evening. “We have had an amazing group of people that have been knocking on doors and have been phoning – this has been a constant effort by so many people. I couldn’t be more pleased to thank you for the great work that has been done,” he said. “My mission as an MP has been to honour your trust with faithful community service, and that I will continue to do,” he said.
“We had a chance to get out into all of the communities in the riding, and into the new parts of the riding, and we were always well-received. And our message of lower taxes, job creation and security and leadership the prime minister had shown around the world certainly resonated there,” he said.
“I think history will show him as one of the strongest leaders that Canada has ever had.”
Kastern said she was happy with how she did in the polls.
“I set a realistic goal for myself in terms of 10 per cent because a Liberal has not crested 10 per cent of the vote in this area in forever. I ran a really clean, tightly budgeted campaign that I think was executed really well. I’m so proud of myself and so proud of my team,” she said. ”How can I not be more proud of my team? And when I say my team, I mean my team across Canada. I think what we thought was going to happen, is definitely happening and obviously Canadians are hungry for change and the right kind of change.”
Meanwhile, Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said she congratulates all of the candidates in the federal election.
“Red Deer is again well represented on a federal level with Blaine Calkins and Earl Dreeshen,” she said. “We look forward to engaging with our federal MPs on the issues that are important to Canadian cities and specifically Red Deer, Alberta’s next big city. These issues include reliable and secure funding for infrastructure, transit projects, and affordable housing. Together we will build stronger Canadian cities.”
– with files from Jenna Swan/Black Press