Mark Strahl celebrates with supporters on Monday night after the numbers rolled in.

Strahl wins seat easily

MP: 'I took a lot of slings and arrows'

Mark Strahl said it was the strong local Conservative support that got him elected as Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon’s newest member of Parliament Monday night.

In an interview with The Observer Tuesday morning, Strahl answered questions about both his party’s and his family’s history in the area. He also spoke about the major shift in politics, and where the Liberals may have gone wrong.

Voters in Agassiz “share Conservative values” and are “folks who believe in fiscal policy,” he said. They also want the government to be  “tough on crime and have a family-friendly policy,” he said. “Our platform delivers that in spades.”

He agreed that the Tory pathway was laid in this riding by his father, Chuck Strahl, who held the seat here since 1993.”I think Chuck left a very positive legacy, and I think myself or anyone else who would have been the candidate would have benefitted from his time in politics here,” Strahl said.

And if there was an edge to being a family member of a popular politician, it was a double-edge, he added.

“The fact that I share his name, well, I took a lot of slings and arrows for it,” Strahl said. “And that was expected.”

While Strahl won the seat easily, the NDP gained more support than they’d had in the past here.

Gwen O’Mahony earned 12,665 votes, while Strahl earned 28,153 of the 49,189 votes.

In a distant third was Diane Janzen for the Liberals, with 5,317 votes. Green candidate Jamie Hoskins earned 2,701.

Two smaller fringe parties also ran in this election. The Western Block Party ran Clive Edwards, earning 180 votes, and the Marxist-Leninist Party ran with Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell, with 173 votes. (Total numbers available at press time Tuesday.)

The election led to a major shift in Canadian politics, despite a record low voter turnout.

The Liberal Party lost more than 40 seats throughout Canada, and the NDP swooped in where both the Conservatitives and the Bloc Quebecois failed to woo voters. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has since announced he will step down, the Bloc has crumpled and the NDP is in a solid Opposition.

Strahl said the shift in Liberal voters thinking may be because they lost their identity, and Ignatieff “didn’t catch on with Canadians.”

“But I think the problems with the party go beyond the leader,” he said.

“We’ve been there before, with the Conservative movement. They are going to have to rebuild.”

Previous Liberal Canadians turned to other parties to place their votes because they were looking for parties with “defined principles,” he said. “They know where the Conservatives stand, and where the NDP stands. The Liberals had been all over the map.”

But the Tories still weren’t expecting such a solid majority, Strahl said.

“If anyone was predicting at all, it was going to be one or two seats,” he said. The Conservatives now hold 12 more seats than needed to hold a majority government, the first time the Conservatives have done so.

“I think Canadians took a sober second look at the NDP and a lot of people who were maybe flirting with the NDP swung over to us,” he said.

It will be a few weeks before Strahl is sworn into office, after Elections Canada finalizes numbers across the country.

“Right now we’re just getting cleaned up here and awaiting the next step,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot to do until I get sworn in, but I can’t wait to get started.”

news@ahobserver.com

Just Posted

Lagoon improvements, but no safety audit recommendations, coming to Harrison

The lagoon will see electrical upgrades, a new flag pole and fencing, but no life jackets or signs

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

All child porn charges against Chilliwack realtor dismissed

Meissner’s computers contained ‘miniscule’ amount of content normally found on offenders’ devices

Mounties hunt for missing Langley man

The public has been asked to help locate David Grainger, last seen on March 19

B.C. Wildfire crews respond to Sts’ailes, Morris Valley fires

A fire at the First Nation and a grass fire in Mission sent smoke across the valley Wednesday

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Punching Parkinson’s in the Fraser Valley

Rock Steady Boxing program, designed to help battle symptoms of Parkinson’s, coming to Abbotsford in April

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read