NDP candidate for the Red Deer-Lacombe riding had the second highest number of votes in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding. (File photo by Black Press news services)

NDP candidate for the Red Deer-Lacombe riding had the second highest number of votes in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding. (File photo by Black Press news services)

NDP candidate Tanya Heyden-Kaye has second-highest vote count

By Christi Albers-Manicke, Emily Jaycox, and Reeti Rohilla,

BLACK PRESS NEWS MEDIA

Tanya Heyden-Kaye of Ponoka, candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP) received the second highest number of votes in the Red Deer-Lacombe riding in the 2021 federal snap election, behind incumbent Conservative MP Blaine Calkins.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Elections Canada had reported 8,422 votes for Heyden-Kaye, or 14.1 per cent of the vote, behind Calkin’s at 64.2 per cent.

“I’m pleased, for sure,” said Heyden-Kaye, who lives in Ponoka.

“We’ll see what happens next time,” she said.

“The biggest thing I think I accomplished was just going out and listening to people and talking to them about things they need.”

She added she plans to stay involved in her community and neighbouring communities and be a listening ear, and will hopefully run for office again in the future.

With over 7,776 votes (13 per cent), Megan Lim, PPC candidate for the Red Deer-Lacombe says she is very pleased with her campaign and her party’s position.

“For a party as new as the PPC, these types of numbers are unheard of,” said Lim.

“I enjoyed so much about being a candidate and I truly believe the PPC supporters are the most passionate of any voters in Canada.

Meeting many people and hearing their stories, independent candidate Joan Barnes, says that running for election had an impressionable impact on her life.

With no party affiliation, Barnes says that she knew she was making a tough choice, but found that her voice was heard by the people in her riding of Red Deer-Lacombe.

“A lot of people are very disheartened because they don’t feel that they are being heard out there, even by the ones that are voted in the house for them. And this is my key take-away — that party lines supersede the personal voice of the constituents, and it shouldn’t be like that,” said Barnes.

“The party should not have that much authority.”

Barnes says that she stood for the election as an independent candidate to give the voice back to the people, as oppose to running party lines.

Matthew Watson, Libertarian candidate, had the least amount of votes (at 4 p.m. Tuesday), but the lack of votes hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for politics.

“It was a very interesting experience,” said Watson.

“I’ll do better next time because I will be getting more information together in order to make stronger arguments.”

Watson says with the snap election being called, there wasn’t a lot of prep time to get signs made, or to get around the constituency to talk to voters.

Watson says he plans to stay involved in politics and will run for office again in a future election.

“I feel pretty good. People should go out and try their hand at the process. If they feel they have something to contribute, they should try.”

What he would do better next time is to work on his public speaking, he says.

“The smaller parties put in a lot of hard work and that deserves to be recognized.”

Ondieki, the Liberal candidate, was not immediately available for comment.

There was no post election comment from Harry Joujan, Maverick candidate for Red Deer-Lacombe.

Mail-in ballots were being counted on Tuesday.

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