A large turnout for Justin Trudeau during an Alberta byelection campaign wasn’t enough of a push for the Liberals in the federal constituency of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.
Conservative Glen Motz, a retired Medicine Hat police officer, appeared to cruise to an easy victory as votes were counted Monday night.
The byelection was called after MP Jim Hillyer died of a heart attack earlier this year in his Parliament Hill office.
The last MP Medicine Hat voters elected who wasn’t from a right-of-centre party was Bud Olson, who was originally voted in as a member of the Social Credit and crossed to the Liberals.
He was re-elected when the party swept to power under Pierre Trudeau in 1968, but Olson lost in 1972.
The prime minister attracted about 2,500 people when he visited the riding earlier this month in an effort to boost the chances of Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto, who was far behind as results came in.
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner was a new riding in the 2015 election – it was formerly Medicine Hat.
Motz said during the campaign that some people in the area had lost their hope and optimism based on the Liberal government’s rhetoric. Rather than job creation, he said there are increased taxes and the proposed carbon tax.
Sakamoto said during the campaign that the area had been a “forgotten corner” for decades and hoped to bring more employment.
Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose dropped into the riding in the past couple of weeks in hopes of boosting the chances of their local candidates.
There were six candidates running for the seat:
- Conservative candidate Glen Motz
- NDP candidate Beverly Waege
- Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto
- Libertarian Party candidate Sheldon Johnston
- Christian Heritage Party candidate Rod Taylor
- Rhinoceros Party candidate Kayne Cooper