By Mike Williscraft
After whirlwind campaign, a tight federal election run brought Canadians right back around to where they started – including in Niagara West with the re-election of Dean Allison on Monday night.
With a turnout in the Riding just under 71 per cent, it was clear Niagara West voters had something to say with their ballots.
Allison earned his House of Commons seat garnering nearly 46 per cent of the vote (24,250). Liberal candidate Ian Bingham was a distant second with just over 30 per cent of the vote (15,968).
On election night, Allison said early results look like things would be the exact same.
“This looks to me like it’s going to be the exact same result as the last election, which blows me away because we’ve been all over the place,” said Allison.
“It was the election no one wanted. That’s what we heard from people over and over at the door, and people sent us back with the same numbers as before.”
The reason for this, he said, is Canadians are angry with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but not familiar enough with Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.
That said, Allison noted the Conservatives again won the popular vote, it just did not translate to enough ridings won.
“We’re a divided country and I think the result shows that,” said Allison, who added there were a lot of divisive issues such as vaccination policies and mask mandates, which many feel strongly about.
“There is significant mistrust of government and a lot of anger toward Trudeau. People are frustrated. He thought he could get a majority, but the people gave him the exact same minority government.”
In his victory speech on the national stage, Trudeau spoke of the “mandate” given him by Canadians.
Allison does not see it that way.
“It’s not a mandate at all. How can a minority government be a mandate. Canadians said ‘you guys are going to get the exact same. Work it out’,” said Allison.
“Trudeau wants to justify. He wants to keep going down the path he has been on. The economy is struggling. Our business sector needs support.”
“We don’t need to go down this rabbit hole of spending bills and billions of dollars and not seeing anything for it. We are behind on a number of fronts internationally, too, making us less competitive overall. That has to change.”
On the overall result, Allison believes it will be better for this Party next time around.
“This was a divisive campaign with a lot on the line. Community groups, families, people have strong feelings. This is a time where there is a lot of division. We will get passed that,” said Allison.
“This time, Canadians said, ‘we don’t know your guy (O’Toole) but we’re going to give the Liberals a minority again until we can see how he handles himself’.”
For the immediate future, Allison knows where his attention will be.
“My focus is going to be on trying to get the economy going again,” said Allison, who won for the seventh time, adding thanks to the people behind him.
“I would really like to thank all the volunteers and staff who worked so hard and my understanding family, who are behind me 100 per cent.”