September 29th, 2016

Barnes keeps seat in Cypress-Medicine Hat

By Lethbridge Herald on May 6, 2015.

Gillian Slade
The Wildrose clung to its official Opposition status and Cypress-Medicine Hat voted for the incumbent once more with even more votes than in the previous election.
“We are the official opposition. Wildrose members and volunteers should be pleased Wildrose has taken more seats than we had last time,” said Drew Barnes. “I am grateful for another opportunity to represent Cypress-Medicine Hat.”
Any disappointment Bob Olson, PC candidate, felt in conceding to Barnes was measured against his shock at the decimation of the PC party.
“With that kind of a deal it would have been tough to go to Edmonton,” said Olson. “I did not expect this at all. I did not believe the polls but the people have spoken.”
Of 13,547 votes counted, with 79 of 86 polls reporting, Barnes took 7,438 votes, Olson 2,855, the NDP 2,822 and Liberals 432.
There is no doubt in Barnes’s mind that the Wildrose would have been leading across the province, like the NDP did, if there had not been the defection of a number of Wildrose MLAs including its leader, Danielle Smith, in December last year.
The legislature will look very different this time, said Barnes, who knocked on more than 6,000 doors in this campaign with the help of a number of volunteers.
Having run in the Wildrose leadership campaign prior to the provincial election, Barnes had a longer time to get to know Albertans and voters in Cypress-Medicine Hat. He says this sharpened the issues for him. He’d heard from many of concerns about the PC party not listening to Albertans but he also heard fears expressed about a possible NDP victory.
“I am surprised by the extent of the NDP success,” said Barnes. “This is what happens when Albertans’ needs are not put first by the government.”
Barnes promised he would return to Edmonton and the legislature with renewed vigour and would not let the people of Cypress-Medicine Hat down.
Olson is the nephew of the late MP, Senator and Alberta Lieutenant-Governor H.A. “Bud” Olson. He was a federal agriculture minister under the Trudeau Liberals.
While happy Barnes retained his seat, Medicine Hat Coun. Jim Turner, said he certainly did not expect the extent of the NDP win.
“Not in this province did I expect this” said Turner. “My biggest fear is a carbon tax and a sales tax. Both would be devastating for Medicine Hat.”


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