May 5 2011
Free Press Files
The Conservative Party was celebrating on Monday night as David Wilks was elected MP.
“I’m humbled, and I’m excited to start working for the constituents of Kootenay-Columbia,” said Wilks.
More than 23,000 voters in the riding voted for Wilks.
Shmigelsky, Wilks’s toughest competitor, received more than 14,000 votes.
“I worked with Mark for three years on the Regional District. He ran a very good campaign, and I wish him nothing but the best in the future,” said Wilks.
Wilks will be travelling to Ottawa next week to be officially sworn in as the MP for the riding.
“It’s a huge riding. During the campaign I’ve heard a lot of people say what the issues are within their region. I think one of the first issues that we have to look at is to continue the infrastructure funding for the Trans-Canada Highway. It needs to continue to be upgraded, particularly in the Golden and Revelstoke areas. I believe we also need to focus on Highway 3 as well,” he said.
Wilks said that one of his main goals will be to create dialogue between city and district mayors and councillors and Regional District chairs and directors.
“I want them to know they have open access to their Member of Parliament,” he said.
Shmigelsky said that he called Wilks as soon as he heard the results.
“I called to congratulate him. I know Dave, he is a good guy,” he said.
Shimigelsky said that the NDP aren’t going anywhere in the riding.
“We are going to give him time to get settled in, but we will be paying a lot more attention in this riding and holding the Conservatives accountable,” he said.
Shmigelsky said that Election day was bittersweet.
“We were happy with what the NDP accomplished nationally but not thrilled with what happened in our riding,” he said. “We fought a good campaign. We were at all the all-candidates forums. I am ecstatic with how hard people worked on our campaign.”
Shmigelsky said the NDP was able to increase votes for the Party in the riding but was unable to make a dent in the Conservative base.
Liberal candidate Betty Aitchison received 1,492 votes, Green Party candidate Bill Green received 2,532 votes, and Independent candidate Brent Bush received 643 votes.
The Conservative Party received 167 seats in the House of Commons and the NDP will form the official opposition with 102 seats.
Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff resigned on Tuesday morning after the Liberals won the lowest number of seats in the Party’s history.
The Green Party also made history on Monday, winning its first seat in the House of Commons.
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