Conservative Blaine Calkins was re-elected in Red Deer-Lacombe, but it’s an election that he says should not have been held in the first place.
“We just spent $600 million, well over half a billion dollars, on an election that gave us virtually the exact same results that we started with so I am disappointed. I’m disappointed that this had to happen,” Calkins said outside his campaign office.
“It’s not an election that Canadians were obviously excited about and we saw that in the sense that virtually nothing has changed as a result. It’s been an exercise in expensive futility is what it’s been.”
As of 10:45 p.m., Calkins had 26,270 votes, or 64.1 per cent of the votes.
New Democrat Tanya Heyden-Kaye had 5,803 votes, or 14.2 per cent. Megan Lim with People’s Party of Canada had 5,341 votes, or 13.0 per cent. Maverick Harry Joujan had 643, or 1.6 per cent. Liberal David Ondieki had 2,419 votes, or 5.9 per cent. Libertarian Matthew Watson had 148 votes, or 0.4 per cent. Independent Joan Barnes had 356 votes, or 0.9 per cent.
Mail-in ballots will not start to be counted until Tuesday.
Calkins said it was an election that should have been about Canada’s economic recovery coming out of COVID-19, setting the stage for a secure future for everybody, and creating jobs. Instead there was just a lot of frustration about the federal government and COVID.
“There seems to be a lot of people mad at Justin Trudeau and Jason Kenney, but somehow blaming Erin O’Toole. I don’t think that’s necessarily fair.”
He hoped people weren’t put at risk because of the election and thanked Election Canada workers.
“I hope this hasn’t been an event that’s going to cause anybody any safety issues.”
But Calkins said he was really happy to be chosen for a sixth time to represent the people of central Alberta.
Calkins has been the MP for the riding since 2015 and has served as an MP for a total of 15 years. He was first elected to Parliament in 2006 and represented Wetaskiwin before the riding expanded to become Red Deer-Lacombe.