Conservative Caputo says he's 'honoured' to represent Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in Ottawa

Caputo accepts election win

UPDATE: 11:27 p.m.

It took a while, but Conservative Frank Caputo has accepted his victory as Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo's next representative in Parliament.

Caputo spoke to Castanet Kamloops at about 11 p.m. outside his Seymour Street campaign office — hours after he'd been declared winner by a number of media outlets.

“I am absolutely honoured with the votes that the people of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo have placed in me,” he told Castanet outside his campaign office.

“It’s such an honour to have so many people put so much faith in me and I promise to do my best for them.”

Castanet will have a full story early Tuesday morning with more reaction from Caputo and others.

UPDATE: 9:55 p.m.

Green Party candidate Iain Currie headed to Frank Caputo’s campaign office to personally congratulate him on a win — although the Conservative candidate said it was still too early for him to declare a victory.

Currie stopped by Caputo’s Seymour Street storefront at about 9 p.m. on Monday.

“Part of the job of the rest of us now is to tell Frank what we need — and it’s his job to represent us in Ottawa. It’s a huge responsibility,” Currie said.

“I’m going to be frank with you, I didn’t vote for you. That might come as a surprise. And neither did — even though this is a pretty impressive margin of victory — certainly more than 50 per cent of the people of this riding didn’t vote for you, and you need to represent all of us.”

Caputo agreed with Currie, his longtime colleague in the Kamloops Crown counsel office.

“You’re an MP to all, or an MP to none,” Caputo responded.

The two worked together as prosecutors for about seven years.

“Lawyers refer to one another as their friend even when they are opponents, and I think that that really should translate into politics as well. Because at the end of the day, we all want the same thing, what's best,” Caputo said.

“Sometimes we may disagree on how to get there. But at the end of the day, we all want what's best. So I appreciate the kind words from my friend Iain.”

Currie challenged Caputo to remember “every single one of those promises” made on the campaign trail, and to be a champion for reconciliation and climate change.

“His Green friend is going to hold him to his promises,” Currie said.

“As a Conservative I’m suspicious of Frank, but as a human being and as a friend, I know that he has the best interests of all of us at heart."

UPDATE: 9:36 p.m.

A small group of supporters and volunteers gathered with Jesse McCormick at Masons Kitchen and Bar in Sun Rivers on Monday night, celebrating as national broadcasters called the election for the Liberal party.

McCormick said he’s happy to see Canadians supporting the Liberals in this election, even as Conservative Frank Caputo was elected MP in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

“We need to finish the fight against COVID-19, which means taking a strong stance on vaccinations and supporting proof of vaccination requirements, like we have in B.C. It means investing and advancing our work on climate change, and continuing to contribute and advance our work on reconciliation,” McCormick said.

“Those are all things I believe the Liberal Party of Canada is best positioned to advance and accomplish and it makes me very happy to see that that's that we're looking at Liberal government.”

UPDATE: 9:18 p.m.

NDP candidate Bill Sundhu, runner-up to Conservative Frank Caputo, will not be making any public statements on Monday night.

That was the word from Ryan Painter, Sundhu’s campaign manager, in a call to Castanet Kamloops just after 9 p.m.

Caputo has maintained a double-digit point lead over Sundhu for nearly the entire evening.

As of 9:15 p.m., with more than 45 per cent of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo polls reporting, Caputo is sitting at 41.3 per cent — nearly 11 points ahead of Sundhu’s 30.6 per cent.

Green candidate Iain Currie visited Caputo’s Seymour Street campaign office just before 9 p.m. to offer his congratulations.

Sundhu is the only major party candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo not to make any public comments on election night.

UPDATE: 8:45 p.m.

Frank Caputo will represent the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in Ottawa.

Caputo won election on Monday night, defeating runner-up Bill Sundhu from the NDP.

Caputo, a Crown prosecutor, had about 42 per cent of the vote and a 10-point lead on Sundhu as early results began to roll in around 8 p.m., and he has maintained that margin throughout the night.

With more than 25 per cent of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo polls reporting as of about 8:50 p.m., Caputo has about 41 per cent of the vote — more than 10 points ahead of Sundhu.

UPDATE: 8:14 p.m.

It’s still early, but Conservative candidate Frank Caputo is maintaining a fairly significant lead in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

With nearly seven per cent of polls reporting — 2,606 ballots in all — Caputo is in the lead with 1,141 votes, good for almost 44 per cent.

NDP candidate Bill Sundhu is in second place with 717 votes, or 27.5 per cent, while Liberal Jesse McCormick has so far tallied 426 votes, good for 16.3 per cent.

Twenty of 297 Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo polls have now reported.

UPDATE: 7:59 p.m.

As early Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo results begin to trickle in, Conservative front-runner Frank Caputo says it’s going to be a quiet night — win, lose or draw.

“It’s not like a usual election — we are in a pandemic and we have to respect that,” Caputo told Castanet just before 7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be a low-key night in comparison.”

With just over two per cent of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo polls reporting — 1,035 ballots in total — Caputo is sitting atop the heap with 432 votes.

The NDP’s Bill Sundhu is in second place with 313 votes, followed by Liberal Jesse McCormick at 165.

UPDATE: 7:42 p.m.

The first Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo results have now been reported — all 527 of them.

Of those ballots, 235 were cast for Conservative Frank Caputo, 153 for NDP Bill Sundhu and 83 for Liberal Jesse McCormick.

Castanet Kamloops is keeping a close eye on the results and this story will be updated throughout the night.

UPDATE: 7:36 p.m.

Voters at a Downtown Kamloops polling station reported minimal waits as they cast their ballots Monday evening.

Tamara Wright said she was only waiting for about five minutes to cast her vote.

“It was very organized,” Wright said.

Levi Manson said he also waited between three to five minutes to vote at the Desert Gardens Seniors Community Centre.

“They were pretty efficient,” he said.

Manson said he has noticed a change in the political leanings of Kamloops residents.

“Kamloops has voted Conservative — but recently, we are noticing a change," he said.

"Maybe a bit more left-leaning.”

Voter Andrew Richards said he also predicts a shift in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, believing the NDP will take the win in the riding.

Heidi MacDonald said she the voting process was “super smooth, super organized.”

“I think it’s going to be a very tight three-way race,” MacDonald said, predicting it would come down to the Conservative, Liberal and NDP candidates.

“I’d like to see the Liberals win, you can quote me on that one.”

UPDATE: 6:57 p.m.

Jesse McCormick feels like he did all he could on the campaign trail.

Speaking to Castanet on election night, the Liberal candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo said he feels privileged to have had the chance to put his name forward — and now it’s time to see what that voters decide.

“I think we’ve put a clear choice to the voters of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo and offered them the best of both myself as a candidate and of the Liberal Party,” he said.

“I think we’ve got an important choice to make as voters and, certainly, here we have some great candidates. I was proud to be one of them.”

This story will be updated throughout the night. Check back for updates.

UPDATE: 6:18 p.m.

It’s been a “demoralizing” campaign for Iain Currie.

Speaking to Castanet on election night, the Green candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo said he’s frustrated.

“As a country, we just spent, I think it’s $700 million at this point to have an election in which people really wanted change,” Currie said.

“But we’re told all over the place that they couldn’t have it, and that they had to vote for the other parties that have been the biggest source of the problems that we’re in at the moment.”

Currie said it looks like this might be another election in which little change is actually realized.

“If the polls are any indication, that seems like that’s exactly what we’re going to get — more of the same,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate. For a five-week campaign it felt really long and somewhat demoralizing.”

This story will be updated throughout the night. Check back for updates.


Will this be the year the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding’s Conservative streak comes to an end after more than two decades?

Seven hopefuls are vying to replace outgoing Conservative MP Cathy McLeod, who announced earlier this year that she would not seek re-election after 13 years in Parliament.

Conservative candidate Frank Caputo is the front-runner, hoping to continue the 20-plus year trend of Tory representation for the riding.

At the top of the list of challengers are the NDP’s Bill Sundhu and Liberal Jesse McCormick, followed by Green candidate Iain Currie and Corally Delwo of the People’s Party of Canada.

Two independents — Bob O’Brien and Wayne Allan — are also running.

Caputo was born and raised in Kamloops. He is a Crown prosecutor who teaches part-time in the law school at Thompson Rivers University.

Caputo touts Conservative leader Erin O’Toole's plan to balance the budget in 10 years and said the Conservatives will create more supply for Canada’s housing market.

Sundhu, another lawyer who grew up in the region, criticized the conservatives for cutting funding to health and social services. He boasted the NDP’s plan for universal pharmacare, dental and medicare.

Liberal candidate McCormick is also a lawyer. He is new to Kamloops but has worked in the federal government in Ottawa in the past. He said climate change is one issue he would focus on, as he sees it a global issues that has really affected the local community.

Running again for the Greens is former Crown prosecutor Iain Currie, born and raised in the Tournament Capital, who put his name forward in the 2019 federal election.

Currie said he decided to get into politics because of the climate crisis currently facing Canadians. If elected, he said he would work to transition Canada to a greener, more stable economy.

Throughout the campaign, the PPC’s Delwo has aligned herself with protestors opposed to B.C.’s vaccine card system.

She spoke to a large crowd as part of a controversial Sept. 1 protest outside Royal Inland Hospital and led rallies over the weekend outside CFJC’s studio — miffed that she’d been left out of a televised debate last week — and then at Riverside Park.

Independents Bob O’Brien and Wayne Allan ran on very different platforms, but both touted the potential benefits of having an MP not tied down to a party’s policies.

Kamloops has had Conservative representation federally since 2000, when Betty Hinton was elected under the short-lived Canadian Alliance banner. Prior to that, NDP Nelson Riis served as the region’s MP for a dozen years.

Polls close at 7 p.m. This story will be updated throughout the evening.

More to come ...

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