PCs earn majority, but Wildrose wins locally

Written by production

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 05:09

The blue wave that swept through Alberta during the federal election coloured the province again tonight — at least in Calgary and to the north.
Alberta’s largest city helped the Progressive Conservatives earn 62 seats to gain another majority government. The Wildrose Alliance came in second at 17 seats, while the NDP and LIberals pulled in four seats each.
Locally, the Cardston-Taber-Warner riding went Wildrose, like every other southern Alberta riding but three. Gary Bikman swept into office with 6,110 votes, as he upended Progressive Conservative candidate Pat Shimbashi, who earned 4,270 votes. Bikman was pleased with the win.
“We’re all here, obviously we’re celebrating, it’s great to win, and we recognize that it’s a team win,” he said from his campaign headquarters. “We had representatives on our team from all corners of the riding, and they really did a good job of representing their area’s needs and wishes to us, so that we could address them, and try to understand them.”
Bikman added his party spoke to people in this area.
“When people feel understood, they feel like they’ll have confidence in you to represent them. I really sensed that people felt that we were getting what their concerns were. Certainly in the rural parts of the riding — big concerns about property rights. They have not felt listened to, and over the course of the election, going out an meeting people, knocking on doors and talking to people, in all walks of life, we had a sense that these were true conservatives, they had true conservative values. And they felt disenfranchised within the PC party.”
The Wildrose MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner added the area’s former PC MLA summed up the Wildrose rural influence well.
“I think Broyce Jacobs, the former PC MLA, expressed it as well as anyone did. He said when somebody asked him why did you switch from being a PC to being a Wildrose, he said ‘Because I’m a conservative.’ Well, what do you mean? ‘Because I’m a true conservative, and there’s only one party that’s representing true conservative values.’ Obviously, I was complimented and flattered by that, but he really has identified the main focus of Wildrose, and that’s to represent the people and to speak up for the people, to be grassroots and to recognizing that the leadership doesn’t have all the answers — we need to consult with all stakeholders — and that message resonated with the people in our riding.”
A message was left on the cellphone of PC candidate Pat Shimbashi, who did not return the call by 11 p.m. Monday night.