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Final count: Dalton first with 37 per cent of vote

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge had higher voter turnout than national average
Marc Dalton and wife Marlene watch votes come in from across Canada on election night. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Conservative incumbent Marc Dalton maintained his near-37 per cent of the vote share, as the vote count was completed in the riding of Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

Dalton finished with 19,371 votes, for 36.6 per cent.

Coming in second was NDP’s Phil Klapwyk with 16,869, for 31.9 per cent; and third was Liberal Ahmed Yousef with 13,179 and 24.9 per cent.

“I’m very happy to have held my seat, but disappointed the Conservative Party could not form government,” said Dalton.

The veteran politician said his door-to-door campaigning left him confident as election day got closer, as he saw support for the Liberal party softening in the riding.

Dalton said he was glad to connect with the community on voters’ doorsteps, and now he will work to advocate for the riding.

“I’ll make sure the community gets the infrastructure and support it needs,” he said, noting there are local projects such as four-laning the Lougheed Highway to Mission, and building a fish ladder for spawning salmon at the Alouette Dam that must be completed.

He said the country must find its way through the pandemic, but the Liberal government must be forced to control spending.

“We can’t continue to just have no control over our finances,” he said, noting the debt is spiking, and it’s leading to the highest inflation in decades.

“The government has allowed this to happen, because they’re trying to buy votes.”

Klapwyk said the country is in the same position after this election as it was before, as Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party will again form government.

“Locally, I thought there was a lot more impetus to change than was shown in the local results,” said Klapwyk, who acknowledged Wednesday morning that the ballots still being counted would not be enough to flip the results from election night.

However this is the best showing for an NDP candidate in the riding since the 2011 federal election when the party received just shy of 35 per cent of the vote.

Klapwyk said the support that he received on voters’ doorsteps made him think that the riding was heading for a change. Progressives in the area were resonating with the NDP platform, he said.

“Nobody really wanted to have this election. I think people were possibly considering alternatives rather than supporting Justin Trudeau,” said Klapwyk.

“I heard more often than not that people in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge wanted somebody they could trust locally,” he noted.

Yousef said the return of a Liberal government was good news from the election.

“Those are the values we want to see come forward,” he said. “We want that competency to finish the fight against COVID, and to get us back to our normal routine, to get jobs, to get the economy back fired up, and have the environmental plan most importantly – implemented.”

Asked whether the election was worthwhile, given the status quo results, he said there is value in giving the public a say in government.

“Was it worth it? It’s always worth it to give Canadians the chance to voice their opinions, and to give the people that they want representing them the mandate that they choose.”

The People’s Party’s Juliuss Hoffman received 2,890 votes, for 5.5 per cent; independent Steve Randy had 453 votes for 0.9 per cent and Rhinoceros Party candidate Peter Buddle had 161 votes for 0.3 per cent.

The population of the riding is 101,101, with 82,495 registered electors before election day. So with 52,923 votes cast the voter turnout was 64 per cent.

That is considerably better than the 59 per cent voter turnout across Canada, but the pandemic election, as it has been called, had a significantly lower turnout than the 2019 election, which was 67 per cent.

READ ALSO: B.C. premier pleads for COVID-19 help as Trudeau government resumes

READ ALSO: Counting of federal election mail ballots expected to continue until the weekend

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

Neil Corbett has been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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