Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins, with his wife Barbara by his side, thanks supporters on election night. See video online Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff

Blaine Calkins easily takes Red Deer-Lacombe for Conservatives

Blaine Calkins won 80 per cent of the vote

Conservative Blaine Calkins cruised to victory in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding Monday night and predicted politicians may be back on the campaign trail again soon.

Calkins told supporters that while the Conservatives did not get the majority they hoped for, the Liberal minority government will be short-lived.

“I don’t think (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) is going to be able to hold it together for long,” he said. “He can hardly run a majority government.

“Folks, don’t even bring your signs back just put them in the garage,” he joked.

Shortly after, a huge cheer erupted when the TV feed showed the Conservatives had a greater share of the popular vote.

“We’re going to get that Conservative government next time,” pledged Calkins.

Calkins won with 80 per cent of the vote — 49,983 votes— with 248 of 255 polls reporting. New Democrat Lauren Pezzella who had 5,568 votes or 8.9 per cent. Liberal Tiffany Rose received 3,213 votes or 5.2 per cent, and Laura Lynn Thompson of the new People’s Party of Canada had 2,249 votes or 3.6 per cent. Green Party candidate Sarah Palmer had 1,424 votes or 2.3 per cent.

Calkins pointed out never before had a majority Liberal government dropped to a minority in its next election.

“The fact that we’ve taken Justin Trudeau down from a majority to a minority means Canadians have decided he’s not worth trusting with unilateral decisions in the House of Commons.”

“My job as a Conservative is to go back to Ottawa, regroup and be ready to go again in the very near future because Canada needs a change in direction. Alberta needs a change in direction.”

The strong showing by Conservatives sends a clear message to Liberals Canadians want the economy put back on track, pipelines built, crime and international trade taken seriously and the budget balanced.

“We’re going to hold them to account.”

Liberal candidate Tiffany Rose said she was “so pleased to see the Liberals have formed the government again.

“I’m really proud of the campaign that we ran and I’m really excited to see what happens in the next four years.”

Rose did not share Calkins’ prediction the Liberal minority government would not hold power for long.

“I think the Liberals and the NDP are capable of working together. I think it’s a challenge, but I think they can do it.”

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