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Federal Election 2021  

Fledgling Maverick Party intends to up its game after poor results

Maverick Party's poor start

The interim leader of the fledgling Maverick Party says it will be making some key changes after a disappointing result in last month's federal election.

Formerly known as Wexit Canada, the party advocates for the independence of Western Canada or constitutional changes that would benefit the West. It ran 29 candidates in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba.

It pulled in 1.4 per cent of the vote in Saskatchewan and 1.3 per cent in Alberta, but barely raised the needle in B.C., where it picked up 0.1 per cent.

"Things could have turned out better. I'm not going to try and BS you," said interim leader Jay Hill in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

"There were a number of factors that really produced the results that we saw, the really disappointing results. It is what it is."

Hill was elected in 1993 for the Reform Party of Canada in the Prince George—Peace River riding in British Columbia and had a long political career as Reform morphed into the Canadian Alliance and ultimately the Conservative Party of Canada. He served as government house leader under former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Hill said some of the problems the Mavericks encountered were that few people had heard of the party when the election was called, there was a surging fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and voters were concerned about vote-splitting and giving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau another mandate.

"The vast majority of Prairie westerners held their noses and voted for Erin O'Toole, even though they now know he's a Liberal in a Conservative blue suit," Hill said.

Hill acknowledged that Wexit Canada's initial focus on western separation probably hurt the Mavericks as well and, in hindsight, they should have built a new party from scratch.

"It was totally devoted to Alberta separatism, not even western separatism, but Alberta separatism and that left a certain degree of discomfort with most westerners who aren't prepared at this point to go that far."

At a news conference the day after the federal election, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who worked alongside Hill in the Harper government, pointed to the lack of support the Maverick Party received.

"I would note the de facto western separatist party, the Maverick Party, got only about one per cent of the vote in Alberta and they couldn't even field a full slate of candidates," Kenney said.

"That probably understates support for separation in this province significantly, but it is a signal. The majority of Albertans went out and voted in a federal election and ... one per cent voted for a separatist party."

Hill said lessons have been learned. He expects a new permanent party leader will be in place next year and the Mavericks will be aiming to field candidates in all western ridings when the next election is called.

"We're going to totally ignore the whole vote-splitting thing and do like Reform did: basically run everywhere we can get organized. Only unlike Reform, it will only be in the west."

Lori Williams, a political scientist at Calgary's Mount Royal University, said the results were not a huge surprise, since most people had no idea who the Maverick Party was, it had an interim leader, and it was facing a higher-profile, national campaign from the People's Party of Canada.

"Maxime Bernier was generating support from both the kinds of people who would otherwise support Maverick as well as the anti-vax crowd," Williams said.

"Canadians were more aware of (the People's party) as an alternative than other parties that are out there."

With a new leader and some national attention, the Maverick Party could generate more support next time, Williams suggested.

And that could hurt the federal Conservatives, she said.

"There are a lot of people ... for whom winning government is not as important as standing on principle and those people aren't going to stick with the Conservative party."



Canadians not thrilled but not angry either about federal election outcome: Poll

Meh on election results

Canadians may not be thrilled with the outcome of last week's federal election but a new poll suggests few are angry that it produced an almost identical result to the 2019 nation-wide vote.

Just 10 per cent of respondents to the Leger survey said they're happy with the outcome, which produced another Liberal minority government led by Justin Trudeau and only minor changes to the seat counts of all the parties.

But another 24 per cent said they're comfortable with the outcome, while nine per cent said they prefer a minority government in any event and 14 per cent said they're indifferent.

On the flip side, 12 per cent said they're angry about the outcome and six per cent said they're uncomfortable with it. Another 24 per cent said they're unhappy about it "but life goes on."

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has lambasted Trudeau for calling an unnecessary, $610-million election that changed nothing, all in the midst of a deadly fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the poll, conducted Sept. 24-26, suggests Canadians are more sanguine about the result, possibly because they're lukewarm about O'Toole's leadership.

The online survey of 1,537 Canadians cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

It suggests that O'Toole was less of an asset for his party than either Trudeau or NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Just 23 per cent of those who voted Conservative said they did so because of the leader. Forty-nine per cent said they voted for the party itself while 28 per cent said they voted for their local candidates.

Among Liberal voters, 34 per cent voted for the leader, 41 per cent for the party itself and 25 per cent for their local candidates.

Among New Democrats, 38 per cent voted for the leader, 38 per cent for the party and 24 per cent for their local candidates.

Both O'Toole and Singh have faced some calls from within their own ranks to step down after their respective parties' disappointing finish. The Conservatives lost two seats, although they won slightly more of the popular vote than the Liberals, while the NDP gained one seat, remaining firmly stuck in fourth place.

Among Conservative respondents, 49 per cent said they want O'Toole to remain at the helm of the Conservative party. But a majority said either that they want him to go (22 per cent) or didn't know (29 per cent) if he should stay or go.

By contrast, 82 per cent of NDP respondents said they want Jagmeet Singh to remain as leader of the New Democratic Party.

Among Liberals supporters, 25 per cent said the main reason they voted Liberal was to avoid a Conservative government. Twenty-three per cent said they thought Trudeau was the best leader to lead the country and another 23 per cent said they thought the party best represented their values.

Among Conservative supporters, 39 per cent said they voted primarily to get rid of the Liberal government, 21 per cent backed the party they thought best represented their values and just 14 per cent chose the Conservatives because they thought O'Toole was the best leader.

Among NDP respondents, 48 per cent said the voted primarily for the party that best represented their values, just 14 per cent because they thought Singh was the best leader for the country.

In Quebec, 35 per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters said they voted for the party they thought was best positioned to defend Quebec's interests. Another 14 per cent said they wanted a strong opposition party in a minority government while 11 per cent voted because of Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.

Just seven per cent of Bloc supporters said they backed the party because of a question posed by the moderator of the English-language leaders' debate, which Blanchet claimed suggested Quebecers are racist.

Still, the poll suggests the Bloc did get a bump from the English debate. Thirty per cent of Bloc supporters said they made up their minds how to vote in the days following the debates — compared to just 15 per or less for supporters of the other major parties.

Overall, 49 per cent of respondents said they made up their minds before the campaign even started, 18 per cent in the opening two weeks, nine per cent over the final weekend and eight per cent on election day.

Just six per cent said the debates changed their minds about who to vote for. Fifty-five per cent said they didn't pay attention to them, while 39 per cent said the debates confirmed their previous choice.

Fully 83 per cent said they ultimately voted according to their original choice; 17 per cent said they switched parties over the course of the campaign.

In the end, 73 per cent said they voted primarily for the party they liked best. But 27 per cent said they mainly voted strategically to stop another party.

Among respondents who didn't vote, 29 per cent said they were indifferent about the election, 24 per cent said they didn't think their vote would change anything.



Tight B.C. races give Liberals Richmond Centre riding, NDP takes Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Close B.C. ridings decided

The Liberals and New Democrats have been declared the winners in two hotly contested British Columbia federal ridings too close to call on election night.

Elections Canada says Liberal Wilson Miao will be the new member of Parliament for Richmond Centre, defeating the Conservative incumbent Alice Wong by 772 votes.

In Nanaimo-Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, New Democrat challenger Lisa Marie Barron defeated Conservative Tamara Kronis by 1,281 votes.

Green incumbent Paul Manly placed third.

Earlier Friday, Elections Canada declared Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed the winner in Vancouver Granville, the riding formerly held by Independent Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former Liberal cabinet minister.

Liberal Patrick Weiler was also declared the winner in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky, defeating Conservative John Weston, a former cabinet minister.

While mail-in ballots for several ridings are still being counted, the final seat count stemming from Monday's election has now been all but finalized with the Liberals claiming 159, the Conservatives 119, 33 for the Bloc Québécois, 25 for the New Democratic Party and two for the Green Party.



Election results unveil worrisome divide between urban and rural Canadians: experts

Urban and rural divide

The results of the federal election have shown a deepened divide between Canadians living in urban areas who mostly chose Liberal candidates and those living in rural areas who voted for the Conservative party, experts say.

Allan Thompson, the head of Carleton University's journalism program, said the results of Monday's election have revealed increasing polarization between rural and urban Canadians.

The division was very clear in Ontario where the Liberals picked up almost all the seats in the urban ridings and the Conservatives flipped some rural ridings and increased their lead in ridings they'd held before.

"What worries me is just the polarization, that it seems to be more and more split, more of a division where it's virtually automatic what the outcome is going to be," Thompson said.

"I think parties do start to make that part of their strategy. I'm concerned that they're not really even making a serious effort to appeal to voters in the ridings that they have decided are unwinnable, and that's just a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Before returning to his non-partisan position as a university professor, Thompson led a task force for the Liberals to propose ways to better connect with rural voters. He also ran as a Liberal candidate in Ontario's rural riding of Huron-Bruce twice, losing to Conservative MP Ben Lobb by about 3,000 votes in 2015 and by about 9,000 votes in 2019.

On Monday, Lobb was re-elected over the Liberal candidate by a margin of more than 15,000 votes.

Conservative Michelle Ferreri defeated incumbent Liberal gender equality minister Maryam Monsef in the largely rural riding of Peterborough-Kawartha and Conservatives Anna Roberts also defeated Liberal seniors minister Deb Schulte in King–Vaughan on the outskirts of Toronto.

The Conservatives also flipped the riding of Bay of Quinte in Ontario, Miramichi–Grand Lake in New Brunswick, Cumberland–Colchester and South Shore–St. Margarets in Nova Scotia and Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame in Newfoundland and Labrador, while maintaining or extending their leads in most of Canada's rural ridings.

Meanwhile, the Liberals held onto their strongholds in Canada's largest cities, wining 22 out of 24 ridings in the Montreal area and all of Toronto's 25 ridings, including Spadina–Fort York where Kevin Vuong emerged victorious even after being disavowed by the Liberal party.

The party dropped Vuong as a candidate two days before election day over the revelation that he'd been charged in 2019 with sexual assault, a charge that was later withdrawn. His name remained on the ballot, however, and the party now says he'll have to sit as an Independent MP.

The Liberals also won nine out of 10 seats in the Ottawa-Gatineau area and flipped three ridings in the Vancouver area. They also won all the ridings in the Halifax area and picked up a riding in each of Calgary and Edmonton.

Thompson said the Liberals and Conservatives have become so entrenched in their respective strongholds that "you start to wonder are they satisfied with devoting their resources and campaign strategy to those communities where they feel they have the best chance of winning?"

Carleton University political science professor Jonathan Malloy said the pattern of Liberals winning in urban areas and Conservatives winning in rural areas is not new. It emerged about three decades ago when the Conservative party splintered with the creation of the Reform Party, which later morphed into the Canadian Alliance before reuniting under the Conservative banner.

That drew the Conservatives more towards rural areas while the Liberals became more entrenched in the cities, Malloy said.

"Toronto used to be quite a Tory center of voting, that's like 50, 60 years ago," he said.

"The trends we have today have been growing, accelerating, particularly in Ontario, I would say, for the last 20 or 30 years."

Malloy said it's hard to determine when this trend started exactly, partly because some communities have grown so much in last few decades.

"Brampton, (Ont.) used to be a fairly small town, maybe 50 years ago you would maybe call it mainly rural and a small town. Now of course Brampton is the city of about 600,000 people," he said.

Malloy said the polices each of the two parties propose during their campaigns play a role in increasing the divide.

For instance, the Liberals' promise of $10-a-day childcare was more appealing to people living in the cities where the cost of child care is more of a concern than the availability of the service.

"It really plays out differently in different areas and for a lot of rural and suburban areas, ... and remote areas, it's just about the capacity of supply of government services not the cost," Malloy said.

There was also a very clear distinction between the Liberals and the Conservatives on the issue of guns that played out differently between urban and rural populations, he added.

"No one has a need for a gun in a Canadian city. And so, the Liberals tend to be fairly restrictive on firearms, because most urban people don't own firearms, they have no need for firearms and so they're happy to support strong restrictions on them.

"In rural areas, firearms are more practical, whether for hunting or for protecting your farm animals. There's practical reasons to have guns in rural areas."

Malloy said both the Liberals and Conservatives are aware of these differences and they tend to build their policies to appeal to their bases.

Whether voters view the party leader as a city or a rural person also plays a role in their choice, he believes.

"Urban voters view Mr. (Andrew) Scheer and Mr. (Erin) O'Toole as relatively rural even though they are properly kind of urban or suburban," he said. "Mr. (Justin) Trudeau, fair to say, is identified with urban. I don't think anyone would disagree with that."

While both parties try to attract voters from one another's bases, Malloy said they do so only after making a strategic calculation on whether attracting new voters might potentially cost them some of their existing support.

Thompson said the pattern of division between rural and urban Canadians is jeopardizing the effectiveness of democracy in Canada and parties should put more effort into bridging the gap.

"It's as if you live in a particular riding you don't get a chance to consider the other point of view, and that's not healthy," he said.



Thousands of mail ballots still to be counted, including in two tight races in B.C.

850K mail-in ballots

The final federal election result may be delayed until this weekend — or even longer — because thousands of mail-in ballots have still to be counted.

Twelve ridings did not start counting mail ballots until Friday, Elections Canada confirmed.

Votes have now been counted in most ridings including in Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Yukon, Manitoba and Northwest Territories. Counting is complete in all but a few ridings in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

But in B.C., which received the most mail ballots of anywhere in Canada, a clutch of ridings are waiting for the final result. In some, including Victoria, more than 10,000 mail ballots had to be verified before the count could start.

Late Friday Elections Canada confirmed that NDP candidate Lisa Marie Barron edged out Conservative rival Tamara Kronis by about 1,000 votes in B.C.'s Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding. The Green Party's Paul Manly finished a close third.

In another tight B.C. race Liberal Wilson Miao was declared the winner in Richmond Centre, defeating Conservative candidate Alice Wong by less than 700 votes.

Elections Canada had expected counting to be finished by Friday. But, with thousands of ballots yet to be counted, it may be Monday before a final result can be announced.

Officials have to check mail-in ballots before starting to count them, to ensure they have been signed and people have not voted twice.

A record number of postal votes — some 850,000 — were received during this election, some from people who did not want to vote in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Counting has finished in more than 300 of the country's 338 ridings, Elections Canada said Friday.

Recounts are expected in a few ridings with very close results, such as Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley in Manitoba where the Conservatives edged out the Liberals by only 24 votes

Elections expert Dennis Pilon said mail-in ballots "had made a difference in a few races."

Pilon, an associate professor of politics at York University, said in very close races parties might ask for a recount, particularly if "spoiled" ballots were a matter of dispute.

He said scrutineers from each party carefully monitor how counts are conducted to ensure every vote they receive is tallied.

They pay particular attention to "spoiled" ballots, disregarded because they have been improperly filled out, or are difficult to interpret, in races with a photo-finish.



Thousands of mail ballots still to be counted, including in two tight races in B.C.

2 races still too close to call

The final federal election result may be delayed until this weekend — or even longer — because thousands of mail-in ballots have still to be counted.

Twelve ridings did not start counting mail ballots until Friday, Elections Canada confirmed.

Votes have now been counted in most ridings including in Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Yukon, Manitoba and Northwest Territories. Counting is complete in all but a few ridings in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

But in B.C., which received the most mail ballots of anywhere in Canada, a clutch of ridings are waiting for the final result. In some, including Victoria, more than 10,000 mail ballots had to be verified before the count could start.

In two tight B.C. races, in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Richmond Centre, postal votes may yet determine who wins.

Officials only started counting mail ballots on Friday morning in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a three-way battle between the NDP, Tories and Greens, Elections Canada said. Votes already tallied suggest the NDP has a narrow lead in the B.C. riding.

Elections Canada had expected counting to be finished by Friday. But, with thousands of ballots yet to be counted, it may be Monday before a final result can be announced.

Officials have to check mail-in ballots before starting to count them, to ensure they have been signed and people have not voted twice.

A record number of postal votes — some 850,000 — were received during this election, some from people who did not want to vote in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Counting has finished in more than 300 of the country's 338 ridings, Elections Canada said Friday.

Recounts are expected in a few ridings with very close results, such as Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley in Manitoba where the Conservatives edged out the Liberals by only 24 votes

Elections expert Dennis Pilon said mail-in ballots "had made a difference in a few races."

Pilon, an associate professor of politics at York University, said in very close races parties might ask for a recount, particularly if "spoiled" ballots were a matter of dispute.

He said scrutineers from each party carefully monitor how counts are conducted to ensure every vote they receive is tallied.

They pay particular attention to "spoiled" ballots, disregarded because they have been improperly filled out, or are difficult to interpret, in races with a photo-finish.



Final numbers released by Elections Canada for Thompson-Okanagan ridings

Final vote tallies are in

Elections Canada has released its final tally of ballots cast in the Thompson-Okanagan in Monday's federal election.

However, the final numbers won't change anything, as the winning candidates did so by a wide margin.

In the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding, incumbent Conservative MP Mel Arnold easily outpaced his rivals with 32,548 votes, or 46.6 per cent of ballots cast. That was down from 48.8 per cent in 2019.

NDP Candidate Ron Johnston came in second with 13,343 votes (19.1 per cent), while Liberal Shelley Deseautels garnered 13,006 votes (18.6 per cent).

Kyle Delfing with the People's Party of Canada made the biggest gain, tripling his percentage of votes from 2019 with 10 per cent of the vote.

Green Party candidate Andrea Gunner managed only 5.5 per cent of votes.

Overall, 64.85 per cent of eligible voters in the riding turned out to cast a ballot.

In Kelowna-Lake Country, incumbent Tory MP Tracy Gray was given 30,760 votes (45.4 per cent), while Liberal Candidate Tim Krupa garnered 17,900 (26.4 per cent).

Cade Desjarlais of the NDP ended the election with 12,319 votes (18.2 per cent), while PPC candidate Brian Rogers was given the nod by 4,729 (seven per cent) of voters.

Green candidate Imre Szeman was well off the pace with just 2,098 votes (3.1 per cent).

Some 64.2 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.

Conservative Dan Albas was returned as MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola with 28,099 votes (45.9 per cent), with Liberal Sarah Eves coming in with half that number at 14,356 (23.4 per cent.)

Rounding out the results were NDP hopeful Joan Phillip with 12,640 votes (20.6 per cent); PPC's Kathryn McDonald had support from 4,490 voters (7.3 per cent) with Green candidate Brennan Wauters placing last with just 1,646 votes (2.7 per cent).

Of those eligible to vote, 61.14 per cent did so.

In South Okanagan-West Kootenay, the NDP's Richard Cannings was returned with 27,372 votes (a 41.3 per cent share).

His closest challenger was Conservative Helena Konanz with 23,473 votes (35.4 per cent).

Liberal Ken Robertson had 8,129 (12.3 per cent), the PPC's Sean Taylor had 4,862 (7.3 per cent), and the Greens' Tara Howse 2,472 (3.7 per cent).

Voter turnout was 64.73 per cent.

Tory candidate Frank Caputo won in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo with 29,881 votes (42.7 per cent).

Bill Sundhu with the NDP made a strong showing with 20,406 votes (29.1 per cent).

Liberal Jesse McCormick garnered 12,717 votes (18.2 per cent); the PPC's Corally Delwo had 4,033 ballots (5.8 per cent); while the Greens' Iain Currie was given the nod by 2,576 voters (3.7 per cent) and independent candidate Bob O'Brien was given 291 votes.

When the ballots were finalized, 65.87 per cent of eligible voters turned out.



Conservative MP urges party to unify around O'Toole as others question his leadership

Tory urges party to unify

A re-elected Conservative member of Parliament says party members should get united behind leader Erin O'Toole, as questions swirl about whether he should remain in the job.

Alberta representative Garnett Genuis took to social media to call on Conservatives to avoid "another round of internal conflict or public navel gazing" after the unsuccessful campaign.

The Conservatives are projected to finish with 119 seats, which is two less than it won during the 2019 federal election under former leader Andrew Scheer.

O'Toole says he's committed to stay on as leader and admits the party didn't make the gains it needed to in Metro Vancouver, the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec to defeat the incumbent Liberals.

An effort has already been started by a member of the party's national council petitioning for members to get a chance to review O'Toole's leadership earlier than scheduled in 2023.

Some Conservative MPs have taken to social media to express their support for O'Toole, while others have been more critical of the party's election performance.

Town & Country News reported reelected Alberta MP Chris Warkentin as saying he felt the party's electoral fortunes shifted toward the Liberals in the campaign when O'Toole began to "waffle" on some policies.

Warkentin didn't immediately return a request for comment left at his office.

One of the hits O'Toole took during the campaign was when he said he would keep a Liberal ban on some 1,500 models of firearms, like the AR-15 in place, despite his platform promising to do the opposite to address the concerns of firearms owners, hunters and sport shooters.

That resulted in him inserting a footnote into the document, saying the ban would remain in place pending the outcome of a classification review.

British Columbia MP Mark Strahl has said the party needs to probe the specific reasons why it lost and tweeted an article Thursday saying "good read," with a caption of some of the text.

“A Conservative party that isn’t conservative is pointless, but so is a Conservative party that can’t form governments … what Conservatives need to figure out is how to thread this needle: not just how to win, but how to win as Conservatives," Strahl tweeted.



Special ballot counts continue as 4 federal ridings in BC remain undecided

BC nail-biter ridings

Uncertainty of the outcome of the Vancouver Granville riding drags on following Monday's federal vote.

Liberal candidate Taleeb Noormohamed has been leading New Democrat Anjali Appadurai.

Noormohamed was incorrectly projected as winner Wednesday night after the Elections Canada website showed 100 per cent of the polls in the riding had reported.

But another page on the website shows only 45 per cent of an estimated 6,800 special ballots have been counted in Vancouver Granville, more than enough to overcome any small lead, as the count continued Thursday.

Other nail-biter B.C. ridings include West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, where Elections Canada says 55 per cent of special ballots have been counted, but its website shows no special ballots have yet been tallied in the ridings of either Nanaimo-Ladysmith or Richmond Centre.

Numbers show the NDP candidate leading her Conservative party challenger in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, while the Liberals are ahead of the Conservatives in both Richmond Centre and West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.



Most mail ballots now counted, some ridings still undecided

Some ridings still counting

 

Elections Canada says it believes most of the 850,000 mail-in ballots not counted on Monday night have now been tallied, but there are still several close-run ridings that have yet to be determined.

On Wednesday, the ridings of Fredericton, Edmonton Centre, Northwest Territories and Yukon were declared for the Liberals after the count wrapped up, along with the Toronto riding of Davenport, where Liberal Julie Dzerowicz beat NDP candidate Alejandra Bravo by 165 votes.

Toronto's Spadina-Fort York was declared for Kevin Vuong, who was on the ballot as a Liberal although he'd been disavowed by the party over a late campaign revelation that he'd been charged with sexual assault in 2019. The charge was later dropped but the party has said Vuong will have to sit as an Independent MP.

A recount is expected in the Winnipeg-area riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, where Conservative incumbent Marty Morantz beat out Liberal Doug Eyolfson by 24 votes.

In Edmonton Griesbach, where The Canadian Press is projecting that Blake Desjarlais delivered a notable victory for the NDP over the Conservatives, mail ballots are still being counted.

In Nanaimo-Ladysmith, less than a thousand votes separated New Democrat Lisa Marie Barron from Conservative Tamara Kronis, with Green Paul Manly, the incumbent, relatively close behind, where 6,892 postal votes were still being counted on Wednesday.

Elections Canada warned that in some ridings with thousands of postal votes, final results may not be available until Friday.



Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo independent candidates look back on campaign, election night

Independents reflect on vote

Expectations were vastly different among the two independent candidates in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding.

Bob O’Brien was disappointed in his 277-vote total after putting in five 70-hour weeks during the campaign, thinking he would place in the top three, whereas candidate Wayne Allan said he considered anything more than one vote for him a success. Allan received 140 votes.

O’Brien said he talked to 1,000 people who were in favour of an independent candidate for the riding, but felt many were concerned Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would be returned to power, so they voted strategically.

Allan said he felt his campaign went well, noting he didn’t get started until late and didn’t feel he had the same amount of opportunities other candidates had.

He said the campaign is just the beginning and he plans to support whomever may be an independent candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in the next election.

O’Brien said he will likely seek a party nomination if he again pursues office.

All vote tallies are pending tabulation of mail-in ballots on Tuesday afternoon. Elections Canada said there were requests for 7,100 mail-in ballots, but it remains to be seen how many were returned.



Voter turnout in Kelowna's two ridings falls

Voter turnout nosedives

Barely six in 10 Central Okanagan residents bothered to become engaged in Monday's federal election.

Figures released Wednesday by Elections Canada show little more than 60 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in both the Kelowna-Lake Country and Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola ridings.

The numbers are slightly higher than the provincial and national numbers, but still well below the percentage of voters who turned out in 2015 and 2019.

In Kelowna-Lake Country, 66,529 votes were cast, slightly less than 63 per cent of eligible voters. Two years ago, 67.7 per cent of voters turned out with 70.96 engaged in 2015.

Incumbent Conservative Tracy Gray was declared the winner Monday with 45.4 per cent of the vote.

In Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, 61.15 per cent of voters cast their ballot, also down from the 67.87 and 70.6 per cent who voted in the last two elections respectively.

Conservative Dan Albas was elected for a fourth term with nearly 46 per cent of the vote.

Those percentages are expected to change once mail-in and other special ballots are counted later this week. Those ballots will not have an effect on the voter turnout numbers.

Nationally, the 2021 election will go down as one of the lowest turnouts in history.

Just 59.5 per cent of voters marked an X on the ballot, second only to the 58.8 per cent who turned out in 2008.

Provincially, just 56.3 per cent of eligible voters turned out.

Those figures do not include people who registered to vote on election day.



More Federal Election 2021 articles

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Candidates

Kelowna - Lake Country
Central Okanagan - Similkameen - Nicola
North Okanagan - Shuswap
South Okanagan - West Kootenay
Kamloops - Thompson - Cariboo



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