By Mike Williscraft
Monday night’s federal election stuck very close to the script, or at least the script predicted by most polls.
Dean Allison posted another dominant Conservative win in Niagara West with 45.5 per cent of the vote.
The Liberal’s Ian Bingham earned 32.2 per cent of votes, according to Elections Canada, with 195 of 197 polls accounted for at press time.
The rest of the field, in order, were: NDP’s Nameer Rahman; Green’s Terry Teather; Christian Heritage’s Harold Jonker and People’s Party’s Miles Morton.
Federally, there were a handful of upsets but from beginning to end – as things unfolded – it was very much as many expected, a nasty election road which led to a Liberal minority government.
“There were some common themes during the campaign,” said Allison.
“We heard repeatedly, “We don’t like Trudeau. We don’t know Andrew Scheer and we’re not happy with Doug Ford, either.”
Those themes, mixed with an economy which has been solid of late, Allison said, paved the way to Monday’s result.
“In Alberta the economy is fragile and they need the pipeline to get built. In Ontario, everyone is working, so they’re more content,” said Allison.
“But while the economy continues to be an issue, if it is doing well, it is tough to get rid of anyone.”
Within Niagara West, Allison said his team knew the landscape is evolving with major development and the continued influx of new residents.
“We have a real sense of community here in Niagara West and people appreciate that. That is why they are moving here,” said Allison.
“The key is to get those people engaged in our community.”
While knocking on doors, Allison said the changes were evident.
“I’ve been around for a while now, getting first elected in 2004, but this time I had a lot of questions about what I’ve done for the community,” noted Allison.
“Whether it was federal support of the YMCA in Grimsby or the new arena in Beamsville or the waste water treatment plant, there have been a lot of successes over the years. New residents don’t see any of that.”
While getting new residents of the Riding up to speed is one aspect Allison will continue to focus on, so too will be getting the Liberal government to forge ahead on Canada’s energy front.
“We need to get that pipeline built,” said Allison of short-term goals.
“The Liberals have a strong minority. If they proceed with the pipeline, we’ll support them. With a minority government, until all three parties say, ‘We’ve had enough’, we won’t be having an election in six months.”