Trump win sparks some anxiety, cautious optimism — and a few cheers in Central Alberta

Amid cautious local reactions to Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election win were a few unequivocal cheers.

“It certainly went the way I hoped it was going to go,” said former Sundre MP and Conservative Party member Myron Thompson. “The voice of the people was being ignored, and now it’s going to have to stop.”

American-born Thompson believes Canadian politicians would be wise to pay attention. “If you haven’t learned the lesson that people are upset, you’re better look out!”

The former teacher who came from Colorado to work in Alberta, feels Trump’s promise to stop jobs from leaving the U.S. resonated with “blue-collar workers of all stripes.”

If the president-elect Trump works with a team of other Republicans to follow through on his campaign promises, Thompson believes, “People will be impressed.”

Bradley Williams, president of the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce, called Trump’s win surprising, since it went against poll results.

But he’s hopeful there will be benefits for Alberta.

For instance, the millionaire entrepreneur has promised to revisit the scrapped Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, if there’s something in it for the U.S.

“We are encouraged by this,” said Williams, who feels “Donald Trump is a businessman and understands the needs of business.”

On the flip-side, Trump has also suggested NAFTA will need reviewing. Although his concerns were expressed mostly about the Mexico-U.S. end of things, Trump could also review the part that lowers tariffs with Canada.

Tyler Bowman, of the Red Deer Downtown Business Association, predicted ripple effects if the U.S. gets tough on B.C. softwood imports, for example. “But we’re cautiously optimistic that there will be benefits.”

Other Central Albertans were unimpressed by Trump’s election win.

However, “if you are a believer in democracy, and if people vote a certain way, you have to accept that’s what they decided,” said former local Liberal party candidate Michael Dawe.

Now that U.S. voters sent a strong protest message Dawe is among those wondering how Trump will fulfill key promises, such as deporting a couple million undocumented immigrants, and building a very expensive wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

“He said the Mexican government would pay for it, but I don’t think it’s a priority for them.”

American-born Red Deer resident Jim Westergard summed up his thoughts about the election by saying: “I’m very glad I became a Canadian citizen and glad that I’m here — but I’m worried about the rest of the world.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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