Local Conservative MP incumbent Damien Kurek crested to victory in Monday’s federal election.
The Liberals landed another minority mandate with a seat count – at press time – of 156 seats. The Conservatives took 121 seats, with the NDP taking 27 seats.
Rounding out the tally are the BQ with 31 and the Green party with two seats.
“It’s an honour to once again have a strong mandate locally, and I plan to go to Ottawa to continue to stand up for the people of Battle River-Crowfoot,” he said.
“And certainly after the election that nobody really wanted, and a national result that is virtually identical to what it was before, it’s certainly an encouragement that I get to continue to fight for good governance for rural values that I’ve been talking about over the last couple of years.
“I will do everything I can to make sure those values and this region are represented in our capital,” he said.
Looking ahead, Kurek said that the divided state of affairs in this country is a concern.
“We’ve spent $600 million for what is being accurately described as the most expensive cabinet shuffle in Canadian history. This is on the Prime Minister’s shoulders,” he said. “They have a lot to answer for.”
Kurek added that his own party will have to examine the results as well.
“I think there are a lot of questions that will have to be asked, including within the Conservative party over the next number of months,” he said.
“But with the virtually identical result, it speaks to how the country didn’t want this election.
“But certainly, there are questions that Conservatives have to answer as well. Over the course of 36 days, we made the case to Canadians but we aren’t the ones with the most seats. So there will be those questions. But when you look at the big picture, my perception is that we are no further ahead as a country after this election.”
He added that mail-in ballots could have a further impact on the results as well.
First elected to Battle River-Crowfoot in 2019, Kurek was raised on a farm near Consort and has long had a strong interest in politics. In 2012, he finished his post-secondary political studies at Trinity Western University.
He also spent his final semester in Ottawa where he had the opportunity to work in former local MP Kevin Sorenson’s office.
From there, Kurek and his wife relocated back home to Alberta and he eventually was offered a job in Sorenson’s constituency office. When Sorenson announced he wouldn’t be running in 2019, Kurek entered the nomination race and was successful, and was, as mentioned, later elected as MP for Battle River-Crowfoot.
In his concession speech, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said that Justin Trudeau was hoping for a quick power grab.
“Instead, he has thrust us into what he has promised will be 18 months of perpetual campaigning,” he said.
“For too long, we have been divided. For too long, we have seen politicians pit region against region, neighbour against neighbour. But when we are divided, Canadians get left behind,” he said.
O’Toole pointed out that ultimately, more people voted for his party than voted for the Liberals on Sept. 20.
“That’s a strength to build on,” he said. “Our support has grown – it has grown across the country. But clearly there is more work for us to do to earn the trust of Canadians. We must show Canadians that we will not waver in our commitment to grow,” he added. “I will never stop serving this great country.”