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Warkentin re-elected as MP for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie

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Conservative incumbent Chris Warkentin was re-elected as the member of Parliament for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie during the 2019 Canadian federal election on Monday.

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Warkentin won his seat in a landslide victory against four challengers—NDP candidate Erin Alyward, People’s Party candidate Doug Burchill, Liberal Party candidate Kenneth Munro and Green Party candidate Shelley Termuende.

“What we’ve heard from across the riding as I’ve travelled throughout the constituency is they were looking for somebody who would represent them that came from the community, that understood the challenges and the opportunities that our community has and should experience,” Warkentin said after his election-night address.

Although the Conservative Party was unable to gain power, Warkentin stated having the federal Liberal Party reduced to a minority government was a victory and promised his party would hold the new government to account.

“What we’ve seen tonight is clearly a recognition by Canadians that the Trudeau government can’t continue unrestrained,” he said.

“We will be solidly opposing anything that will negatively impact people that live in the Peace Country, people that live in the province of Alberta.”

First elected as the MP for the now-defunct Peace River constituency in 2006, Warkentin has since been re-elected five times as of this election.

Warkentin noted he would back Andrew Scheer’s continued leadership of the federal Conservatives.

“There is no question that Andrew Scheer has led us to this point of an increase in the number of seats across the country,” he said.

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“We’re the only national party that has seen an increase in the number of seats and we’re going to continue to grow from that.”

Bloc Québécois made a splash this election as it earned 32 seats. Although known as a sovereigntist party, Warkentin said the Bloc’s fundamental policy platform was unclear.

“This Bloc is probably different than previous incarnations of the Bloc,” Warkentin said.

“We certainly will work with whatever party to ensure we can advance the interests of hardworking Canadians.”

Warkentin added he wasn’t surprised that the right-wing People’s Party of Canada gained no seats and even saw People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier lose his own seat in Quebec riding of Beauce to a Conservative.

“What we saw was people who were supporting a vision of conservatism of Canada believed that our party was the best to represent that and we saw that with the results tonight,” Warkentin said.

Chris Warkentin celebrates his re-election as MP for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie at a Conservative Open at the Holiday Inn and Suites Conference Centre in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.
Chris Warkentin celebrates his re-election as MP for Grande Prairie-Mackenzie at a Conservative Open at the Holiday Inn and Suites Conference Centre in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Photo by John Watson /Daily Herald-Tribune

Warkentin promised he would hold Justin Trudeau to account on promises such as expanding the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

“We will not allow him to sacrifice the commitment that he made, the solemn promise that he made to Canadians with regards to that pipeline, for power,” he said.

“We believe that would be fundamentally a betrayal of his promises and we will be holding him to account on TMX.”

Beginning his last term as the shadow minister of agriculture and agri-foods and later moving on to being deputy house leader, Warkentin said he would take on whatever role is asked of him.

“But obviously, my number-one responsibility and my preoccupation will be defending the interests of Peace Country residents,” he added.

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