by Marianne Curtis
After maintaining his seat in a landslide election Provencher MP Vic Toews is thrilled to be returning to Ottawa as part of a Stephan Harper led majority government for the first time in his political career.
Toews clobbered his opponents when he captured over seventy percent of the total votes cast despite the fact that only sixty-two percent of the 62,180 registered voters in Provencher came out to cast their ballots.
“I was striving for seventy percent and I got it – now my campaign manager is going to tell me that I set my bar too low,” Toews joked when he heard the news. “For some it may have been a given that I’d get reelected but I worked hard for each one of those votes.”
Toews strongly disagrees with the pre-election reference that this was a “Seinfield election” and all “about nothing”.
“These last thirty-five days were perhaps the most important of the time I have spent in Ottawa,” Toews continued. “Going door to door and meeting people I got a real sense of what the people in Provencher want and that means something.”
Toews noted that what makes this win such a success is that while many people assume that it is voters from Steinbach that help him win, it is the voice from throughout Provencher that matters.
“The last election four thousand people from Steinbach voted for me, the remaining twenty-thousand came from the rest of the riding,” he added. “Even though some areas were flooded we knocked on every community and in many communities we knocked on every door
As election night events played out, Toews admits to being shocked as he watched the many upsets reported from across the country.
“I am surprised in two ways – first by the surge of support that came out for the NDP across the country and the strength of the majority that we were left with,” Toews stated. “But this is good for the country – we are finally going to be able to get things done.”
Toews is confident that a Harper majority means that the government can finally get down to business.
“The first thing we are going to do is get the budget put through and reintroduce our criminal law acts,” he continued. “And of course, get rid of the long gun registry.”
Eighty three year old NDP candidate Al Mackling put up a fight and captured nineteen percent of the votes, six percent more than 2008. The Liberal party represented by Terry Hayward claimed seven percent, also down from last election’s 12.5%. Green Party Janine Gibson claimed 3% of the votes, down from 5.9% and CHP representative David Reimer lost ground with only 1.2%, less than half of last times 3.2 percent. Pirate Party Ric Lim, a newcomer to the Provencher political race captured .6% of the votes.