Watching early results come in during Monday’s federal election was a “roller-coaster” ride for Adam Chambers.
The Simcoe North Conservative candidate was, at times, neck and neck with the Liberals’ Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux.
Even as he started to pull ahead, Chambers wasn’t getting overly confident.
“I’ve watched enough campaigns to know things can change,” he said.
Before long, though, it became clear the Midland man would become the riding’s next MP, picking up 25,414 votes — 42.6 per cent of the ballots cast.
“It’s a bit surreal,” said Chambers, who watched the results at home with family. “It’s really a privilege. I feel blessed that a lot of people put their trust in me.”
He praised his fellow candidates for running “very amicable and respectful” campaigns.
“They bring unique perspectives to the table,” he said. “The riding and the constituents are better off for having a race with high-quality individuals like them.”
Regarding the overall results nationally, which resulted in little change from the 2019 election, Chambers said, “the voters are never wrong.”
That doesn’t mean Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is off the hook, though.
“I do think there are some pretty hard questions that have to be answered, especially by the prime minister,” he said, adding one of those questions is whether it was worth the money to hold an election that yielded a similar outcome. “It’s going to be at least a $600-million exercise. That’s a pretty expensive undertaking for a country that’s been piling on the debt.”
It’s an issue he hopes to see addressed when he heads to Ottawa, at which point his No. 1 priority will be “making sure that the government is working for Canadians.”
On a local level, Chambers said, his goal is to represent the entire riding, not just those who voted for him. He hopes to see a similar attitude in ridings across the country in an effort to mend divisions.
“Those fault lines, if we’re not careful, will become more pronounced. As the next member of Parliament, that’s something I’m thinking about,” he said. “We need to be cognizant and conscious of what the level of discourse is. We all have a responsibility to make it a better place for discourse.”
The brief campaign provided a snapshot of issues that are important to people, but Chambers said he now wants to find out more about constituents’ priorities and get Ottawa to address them.
“I’m ready to get to work,” he said.
He thanked his volunteers, including his predecessor, Bruce Stanton, and Stanton’s wife, Heather, who co-chaired his campaign.
“I was able to get a lot of credibility because of their endorsement,” Chambers said. “Bruce leaves an invaluable example to follow.”
Results for Simcoe North
With just mail-in ballots left to count, here is the tally for Simcoe North after ballots were counted in 281 of the 282 polls:
Adam Chambers (Conservative) 25,414 votes or 42.6%
Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux (Liberal) 17,983 or 30.2%
Janet-Lynne Durnford (NDP) 9,480 or 15.9%
Stephen Makk (PPC) 4,715 or 7.9%
Krystal Brooks (Green Party) 1,818 or 3%
Russ Emo (Christian Heritage Party) 200 or .3%
According to Elections Canada, 59,610 of 101,144 registered electors (58.94 %) voted. That does not include electors who registered on election day.