by Stephen Dafoe
When the votes were tallied Monday night, Conservative Party of Canada candidate Dane Lloyd was the winner in the race to replace his predecessor MP Rona Ambrose, who stepped down from political life last summer.
Lloyd won 16,125 votes for 77.4 per cent of the tally, followed by Liberal Brian Gold with 2,508 votes (12%), NDP candidate Shawna Gawreluk with 1,606 votes (7.7%), and Christian Heritage Party of Canada candidate Ernest Chauvet coming in last with 605 votes (2.9%).
From his campaign headquarters in Stony Plain, Lloyd reached out to supporters in the region through a Facebook Live video.
“We did it. We did it. Today the people of Sturgeon River-Parkland have spoken, and I heard them loud and clear,” Lloyd said to supporters. “I am deeply moved by the trust you have placed in me and it is such an honour and a privilege to serve as your Member of Parliament.”
Lloyd went on to say he will take the fight to the Trudeau government and that Monday’s win marks the beginning of the road to 2019.
“I know that our leader Andrew Scheer, we will take the fight to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in Ottawa,” he said. “I will not rest until Canadians get the government that they deserve – a government that puts victims of crime and their families first, a government that wakes up every morning thinking of ways to lower taxes on Canadians, not raise taxes. A government whose priority is to put Canadians back to work and not cancel pipelines.”
Dane went on to thank his supporters.
Party leader Andrew Scheer offered his congratulations, Monday night.
“On behalf of the entire Conservative caucus, I want to congratulate the people of Sturgeon River-Parkland on the election of their newest Member of Parliament,” Scheer wrote in a media release. “Dane Lloyd will bring another voice to Ottawa that champions lower taxes, safe communities, and solutions to the real challenges families face every day under Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.”
Low voter turnout
Fewer votes were cast in Monday’s federal by-election than in previous federal elections locally.
While the 2015 election saw 72.05 per cent voter turnout with 61,694 votes cast, Monday’s by-election resulted in 20,844 of the riding’s 87,968 eligible votes being tallied for a 23.69 per cent turnout.
The 2011 election saw 56 per cent turnout, and 2008 drew 51 per cent in the former Westlock-St. Paul riding.
In the 2015 federal election, Rona Ambrose won 43,220 or 70.2 per cent of the votes cast for the Conservatives. Lloyd drew a slightly higher percentage Monday night with a third of the votes cast.
Ambrose was followed in 2015 by her nearest rival Liberal candidate Travis Dueck with 9,586 or 15.6 per cent of the vote. Dueck’s successor saw a drop in percentage support Monday night.
Guy Desforges of the NDP took 10 per cent of the total with 6,166 votes. Likewise his successor drew a lower percentage of the total.
They were followed by Brendon Greene of the Green Party of Canada with 1,875 votes or 3.1 per cent and Ernest Chauvet of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada with 690 votes or 1.1 per cent of the total. Chauvet received a slightly higher percentage of votes than he did two years ago.
In Quebec’s Lac-Saint-Jean by-election, Liberal Richard Hebert won the day with almost 39 per cent of the vote. The conservatives earned 24.7 per cent of the vote in that race.