Marc Dalton took the riding of Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge for the Conservative Party in Monday’s federal election.
Dalton said he personally knocked on 10,000 doors in the riding over roughly six months.
His campaign manager Nicole Nouch said the Conservative campaign got to some 32,000 doorsteps, including the 10,000 the candidate personally visited.
“It’s important to connect with people,” said Dalton. “Most people are quite friendly and happy to see me, but I won’t say all.”
Polls all predicted a close election, and Dalton saw the riding as up for grabs. In the last election, the race in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge was very close between the three major parties, with the Liberals at 34 per cent, Conservatives 31 per cent and the NDP 30 per cent.
“Between all three parties you’re looking at three or four points,” he said. “So it could have gone any way.
“I was encouraged… but in no way did I ever feel that it was in the bag, so we worked extremely hard on this campaign.”
The Conservative team for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge watched the results come in from across the country at the Townhall Public House. It was quiet early in the evening, with just a few supporters there as polls closed, and it quickly becoming clear that the Liberal Party would again win the most seats.
But Dalton also had an early lead, and it was one he would never relinquish as he unseated incumbent Liberal Dan Ruimy. The volunteers came in from the polling stations to celebrate with the Conservative team.
“I can’t say enough about my volunteers, and a big thank-you to residents in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge for choosing me to represent them as member of parliament,” Dalton said.
He also thanked Dan Ruimy for his work for the riding.
Dalton said he had mixed emotions on election night, with his party unable to unseat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but said the Conservatives will hold the minority government to account.
Dalton has effectively been campaigning all year – in February he won the Conservative nomination over Davis Friesen, who has worked with prominent Conservatives Randy Kamp, Mike Murray and Mark Strahl. He was chosen by some 1,200 local party members who voted. Dalton ran on experience – the educator actually taught Friesen in school.
Dalton is also a veteran provincial politician, having served eight years as a Liberal MLA in Maple Ridge-Mission, before losing to the NDP’s Bob D’Eith in 2017. It too was a close race – 120 votes cost him the seat.
Dalton said he knocked on about 10 homes per hour, and between 60 and 150 per day.
They resoundingly told him the cost of living is too high, he said.
“Affordability is the number one issue, by far,” he said, adding crime, the environment and health care were also frequent topics.
He’s been campaigning since April.
“It’s been a lot of work.”