Conservative Kenny Chiu will represent the voters of Steveston-Richmond East in Ottawa, albeit in opposition as the Liberals were re-elected with minority government status.
Chiu captured 17,193 (41.8 per cent) votes, beating incumbent Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido by almost 3,000 votes. In the 2015 election, Chiu lost to Peschisolido.
“Andrew Scheer said, I have a vision for Canada where taxes are low, government is limited, freedom is shared and people are put before government,” Chiu told the crowd in his victory speech.
“That is why I put my name forward, that is what I believe and that is what you can expect me to work for you on your behalf in Ottawa.”
The Liberals won 157 seats across the country while the Conservatives took 121 seats. In third place was the Bloc Quebecois with 32 seats, the NDP with 24 and Greens and independents capturing four seats.
But Chiu is concerned that the country is polarized and that the re-election of the Liberal government will further this trend.
“In Alberta, there is talk about what Justin Trudeau can do to further alienate the West,” Chiu said. “So I’m very concerned what the new government will do and whether they will take an even more extreme position — and therefore causing more rift and separation and anxiety among Canadians.”
KPU political science professor Greg Millard said Steveston-Richmond East tends to “tilt right,” but it still remains a competitive riding, one Liberals will want to win back.
The Conservative message, however, seems to resonate with those who are “aspirational,” wanting lower taxes and smaller government, he added.
At his victory party, Chiu thanked his supporters and said he’ll work to earn the trust of those who didn’t vote for him.
Chiu, who will go to Ottawa as part of the opposition, said he’s proud to be elected as an immigrant to Canada.
“As an immigrant from Hong Kong, I am honoured and privileged to be able to participate in a democracy, to be able to run for office and now to be elected – in an election, in an open, transparent fair election,” he said.Preliminary vote count (184/184 polls reporting):
Steveston-Richmond East results
Kenny Chiu (Conservative): 17,193 votes (41.8 per cent)
Joe Peschisolido (Liberal): 14,397 votes (35 per cent)
Jaeden Dela Torre (NDP): 6,167 votes (15 per cent)
Nicole Iaci (Green): 2,852 votes (6.9 per cent)
Ping Chang (independent): 475 votes (1.2 per cent)