Conservative Cathy McLeod was convincingly re-elected as the MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo on Oct. 21.
“Obviously, [I’m] very pleased with the results and want to extend my appreciation to the voters of the riding who have trusted me again. It truly is always humbling and an honour. After five weeks, campaigns are lots of work so it’s kind of a tired happiness.”
McLeod took home 44.7 per cent of the vote with 32,057 votes out of a total of 71,703. Liberal Terry Lake came in second at 19,543 votes (27.3 per cent), a decrease from the 2015 election when the Liberals took 21,215 votes (30.41 per cent) and finished third.
McLeod calls the result significant in terms of the distance between herself and Lake.
“I think a lot of it speaks to concerns about natural resource development, forestry, pipelines and not feeling that the current government is on the right track in that area.”
Nationally, Justin Trudeau looks set to continue on as Prime Minister with the Liberals taking 157 seats (short of the 170 needed for a majority) followed by the Conservatives with 121 seats, the Bloc Quebecois at 32, the NDP at 24 and the Greens at three. Former Liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould was re-elected as an independent.
“The prime minister has been put on a short leash by the electorate. Clearly many people after 2015 expected that he’d have another majority mandate and he’s got a minority mandate and we have a very divided country. If you look at the map in terms of the Bloc Quebecois, the resurgence, the fact Saskatchewan [and] Alberta, there’s not a Liberal MP there. There’s some big challenges ahead for sure.”
Once Trudeau calls Parliament back, forestry needs to play a prominent role, says McLeod, as well as the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo NDP candidate Cynthia Egli finished in third with 9,824 votes (13.7 per cent), a low point for the NDP in the riding who’ve taken over 30 per cent of the vote since the 2006 federal election. That came after a tough start to the campaign for the NDP locally who had their first candidate withdraw for personal reasons and their second candidate withdrawn by the party over social media comments.
Egli called it a great day for New Democrats and a great day for Canadians.
“We made history – Jagmeet Singh is the first non-white leader of a federal party and he proved the so-called pundits wrong – he campaigned with courage, grace and intelligence. His positive message of inclusion and fairness resonated with voters and we have to be pleased with the outcome. We have a strong group of NDP’s in a minority parliament and an opportunity to help bring about important changes that will benefit families, workers, students, and Indigenous people.”
On a personal level, Egli says she’s pleased with her campaign – engaging with young people and ordinary folks feeling empowered because they had a real choice in this campaign.
“We started late and had a lot of ground to catch up. Our support continued to rise and I thank the voters for their support. It has been an honour to stand for election to parliament in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.”
Despite a fourth-place finish, it was arguably a good night for Green Party candidate Iain Currie who finished with 8,696 votes (12.1 per cent), well over the 2,489 votes the party received in 2015 and their best result ever in the riding.
People’s Party candidate Ken Finlayson took home 1,123 votes (1.6 per cent), Animal Protection Party candidate Kira Cheeseborough 317 (0.4 per cent) and Communist Party candidate Peter Kerek 143 (0.2 per cent).
“Regardless of the outcomes, I am thrilled for having this opportunity to advocate and challenge injustice head-on. I want to thank all those who supported my campaign and volunteered their time,” said Cheesborough around 8 p.m.
Voter turnout in the riding was 69.8 per cent with 71,703 votes cast out of 102,759 registered electors (does not include electors who registered on election day). That was a step up from the national turnout which was 65.95 per cent.
McLeod ended on a positive note.
“I really appreciated the integrity with which they ran their campaigns. Certainly, there was great diversity and very respectful dialogue.”