Conservatives’ Mel Arnold heads for third term in North Okanagan-Shuswap – Vernon News

Victoria Femia

UPDATE: 10 p.m.

Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold is heading into his third term as MP for North-Okanagan Shuswap.

“The campaign here in the riding played out very much as we expected it to,” Arnold said Monday night, after being declared victorious.

“I ran a positive campaign, talked about our plan to secure the future for Canada, our plan for the environment, our plan for jobs, our plan for securing the country, our plan for accountability – and that resonated with people,” Arnold said.

“I believe the results showed that people chose our plan more than the other plans that are out there.”

Arnold praised Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole for his progress over the course of the campaign.

“I think Erin O’Toole ran a great campaign. It was positive, he got his message out. It has been a challenge for him and the party to get a positive message out there because of so much focus on COVID and the attention that the government was getting out there,” said Arnold.

“Before the election was called, it looked like Justin Trudeau was headed for a majority government if he called the election. Obviously, when the people saw our campaign, saw our leader and got to know him, the whole aspect changed. I think Erin did a great job and the team did a great job.”

As to another Liberal minority, Arnold said the Liberals were in a “much tougher position that they thought they would be.”

The NDP’s Ron Johnston said he’s pleased with his second place showing.

He feels his party made significant inroads in the riding.

“Even though we didn’t take the win and I am not going to Ottawa, I’m so proud of the work we put in on our campaign, and it looks like the NDP has gained seats overall, so we will still be a strong voice for people in Canada,” said Johnston.


UPDATE: 9:40 p.m.

Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold is headed back to Ottawa for a third term as MP for North Okanagan-Shuswap.

With 200 of 308 polls counted, Arnold had an insurmountable lead with 6,273 votes and a 45.1% share.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston had 7,390 (20.5%), making the party’s best showing in recent years.

Liberal Shelley Desautels had 7,112 (19.7%).

Kyle Delfing had 3,291 (9.1%).

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party 2,013 (5.6%).


UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

With 185 of 308 polls counted, Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold has a dominating 13,525 votes and a 44.2% share of the popular vote.

The NDP’s Ron Johnstonhas 6,431 (21.0%).

Liberal Shelley Desautels 6,139 (20.1%).

Kyle Delfing of the PPC 2,755 (9%).

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party 1,734 (5.7%).


UPDATE: 9:17 p.m.

With the outcome already a done deal, the Conservatives’ Mel Arnold continues to pull away from his challengers in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

With 150 polls counted, or about half of the 308, Arnold has 10,332 votes and 44.2% vote share.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has made a surprise run with 4,929 votes and 21.1% of the popular vote.

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 4,595 (19.6 %).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 2,187 (9.3%).

Andrea Gunner of the Greens has 1,357 (5.8%).


UPDATE: 9:05 p.m.

With 125 polls counted, the Conservatives’ Mel Arnold is cementing his victory in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding.

Arnold has 8,779 votes, with 4.9% of the popular vote.

His closest challenger, Ron Johnston of the NDP has 4,020 votes for a 20.6% share.

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 3,767 (19.3%).

People’s Party of Canada candidate Kyle Delfing has 1,867 (9.5%).

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 1,122 (5.7%).


UPDATE: 8:55 p.m.

With 100 polls in, or about one-third of the total, Mel Arnold is coasting comfortably back to office in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Arnold has 6,896 votes, or a 45.7% share, far ahead of his closest challenger.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston is in second place with 3,085 votes and a 20.4% share.

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 2,782 (18.4%).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 1,460 (9.7%).

Andrea Gunner of the Greens has 877 (5.8%).


UPDATE: 8:50 p.m.

Conservative Mel Arnold will be heading to Ottawa for a third term.

With 85 of 308 polls reporting, Arnold has run away with the vote in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

He currently has 5,903 votes for 45.6% of the popular vote.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston is making a surprise showing in second place with 2,628 votes and a 20.3% share.

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 2,408 votes (18.6%).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 1,272 (9.8%).

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 741 (5.7%).


UPDATE: 8:40 p.m.

With the North Okanagan-Shuswap called for incumbent Mel Arnold, the Conservative continues to pull away from his challengers.

With 73 of 308 polls reporting, Arnold has 5,125 votes or 46.4% of the popular vote.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has 2,210 (20.0%).

Liberal Shelley Desautels 2,047 (18.5%).

PPC candidate Kyle Delfing 1,071 (9.7%).

The Greens Andrea Gunner 595 (5.4%).


UPDATE: 8:30 p.m.

It looks like the North Okanagan Shuswap will be Tory blue again.

Both The Canadian Press and CBC are calling the riding for Conservative incumbent Mel Arnold.

With 61 of 308 polls in, Arnold has a seemingly insurmountable lead with 4,165 votes and 46.6% of the popular vote.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston continues to poll in second place with 1,782 votes and a 19.9% share.

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 1,609 votes (18.%).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 908 votes (10.2%).

Andrea Gunner of the Greens has 473 (5.3%).


UPDATE: 8:23 p.m.

Conservative Mel Arnold continues his comfortable lead in North Okanagan-Shuswap with 2,790 votes and 47.9% of the popular vote.

With 40 polls reporting, the NDP’s Ron Johnston has 1,133 (19.4%).

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 1,065 (18.3%).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 554 (9.5%).

Andrea Gunner of the Greens has 286 (4.9%).


UPDATE: 8:18 p.m.

With 30 polls reporting, or roughly 10 per cent of the total, the Conservatives’ Mel Arnold continues to lead by a wide margin.

Arnold has 2,035, or 47.4% of the total so far.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has leapfrogged into second place with 852 for a 19.9% share.

Liberal Shelley Desautels has 768 (17.9%).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 416 (9.7%).

The Green’s Andrea Gunner has 218 (5.1%).


UPDATE: 8:12 p.m.

With 14 of 308 polling stations reporting, Tory incumbent Mel Arnold continues to lead comfortably in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Arnold has 1,087 votes, or 51% of those counted.

The Liberals’ Shelley Desautels and NDP’s Ron Johnston are in a tight race for second place.

Desautels has 399 votes for an 18.7% share, to Johnston’s 377 (17.7%).

The PPC’s Kyle Delfing has 181 votes (8.5%).

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 88 (4.1%).


UPDATE: 8:05 p.m.

Incumbent Conservative Mel Arnold continues his early lead in North Okanagan-Shuswap with 10 polling stations reporting out of 308.

Arnold has 834 votes, or 51.1% of those counted.

Liberal candidate Shelley Desautels has 305 votes for 18.7% of the total so far.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has 280 votes for 17.2%.

PPC candidate Kyle Delfing has 142 votes, 8.7%.

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 71 votes, 4.4%.


UPDATE: 8 p.m.

With seven of 308 polling stations reporting, incumbent Conservative Mel Arnold continues his early lead in North Okanagan-Shuswap with 671 votes, or 50.9% of those counted.

Liberal candidate Shelley Desautels has 252 votes for 19.1% of the total so far.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has 210 votes for 15.9%.

PPC candidate Kyle Delfing has 126 votes, 9.6%.

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 59 votes, 4.5%.


UPDATE: 7:50 p.m.

With five of 308 polling stations reporting, incumbent Conservative Mel Arnold is off to an early lead in North Okanagan-Shuswap with 528 votes, or 50.2% of those counted.

Liberal candidate Shelley Desautels has 195 votes for 18.5% of the total so far.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has 179 votes for 17%.

PPC candidate Kyle Delfing has 103 votes, 9.8%.

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 47 votes, 4.5%.


UPDATE: 7:45 p.m.

The first numbers are starting to trickle in in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding.

With just two of 308 polling stations reporting, incumbent Conservative Mel Arnold is off to an early lead with 388 votes, or 55.7% of those counted.

Liberal candidate Shelley Desautels has 107 votes for 15.4% of the total so far.

The NDP’s Ron Johnston has 102 votes for 14.7%.

PPC candidate Kyle Delfing has 66 votes, 9.5%.

Andrea Gunner of the Green Party has 33 votes, 4.7%.


UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.

North Okanagan-Shuswap incumbent Mel Arnold says he wasn’t taking any chances Monday, despite being the front-runner in the local federal election campaign.

Arnold spent the afternoon main-streeting in Vernon and getting voters to the polls before heading to his Salmon Arm campaign office, where he will watch the results come in tonight.

Arnold says his campaign “went really well,” and he feels the national Conservative message was also well received.

“People are wanting change,” he said.

People’s Party of Canada candidate Kyle Delfing he’s enjoyed much more support on this, his second federal run in the riding.

“It’s been one of the most unifying experiences of any campaign I’ve been part of,” said Delfing.

He says his mailing list has grown tenfold.

He’s throwing an “old-fashioned, normal” party in Armstrong with a DJ to celebrate and watch the results.

Liberal Shelley Desautels says she’s “happy with how our campaign went.”

“We did everything that we could in this interesting time of COVID and fires and all of the above. I honestly don’t have a gut feeling of where this is going to go tonight. I’m either going to be off to Ottawa or preparing for the next election.”

The NDP’s Ron Johnston feels his campaign “went pretty well.”

“It was short. It went by in a blur, for sure,” he said.

Johnston feels the NDP made some inroads in the riding.

“We are hopefully going to see some improvements over our 2019 results,” said Johnston, who’s watching the results at home with his family.

Green candidate Andre Gunner could not be reached for comment on her campaign.


ORIGINAL: 5 p.m.

Incumbent Mel Arnold is facing four challengers in today’s federal election race in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Three of them are newcomers, and one is taking a second shot at unseating the two-time Tory MP.

Salmon Arm resident Shelley Desautels grew up in Vernon and is a parent of two teenage children and Okanagan College instructor in mapping and data analysis.

She touts the Liberals’ plan for $10-a-day childcare and tax increases on the wealthiest Canadians and big banks, along with an anti-flipping tax on real estate speculation.

Arnold, meanwhile, blasted Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s pandemic election call while wildfires ravaged B.C.

He says a Conservative government would balance the budget in 10 years and end the “corruption and manipulation that has afflicted the government over the past six years.”

Running for the Greens, Andrea Gunner is a professional agrologist who lives in Armstrong.

She and her husband raise chickens and turkeys on their certified organic acreage.

Gunner touts co-operative housing to ease the affordable accommodation crunch and says the Greens would create an empty home tax for foreign and corporate residential property owners.

She says a green technology rush will transform the economy, as the gold rush did more than 100 years ago.

Another newcomer is Ron Johnston, who is carrying the NDP banner.

The mechanical designer has worked with both provincial and federal NDP electoral district associations, including on Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu’s successful provincial campaign last year.

Given that Sandhu’s victory was the first for the NDP in the North Okanagan in 36 years, Johnston could be a dark horse in the federal race.

The riding has elected a right-of-centre candidate consecutively since the 1980s, however. Prior to Arnold, voters elected Colin Mayes of the Conservatives and Darrel Stinson, under the Reform, Alliance and Tory banners, to back-to-back terms.

The last left-wing MP elected here was Lyle MacWilliam of the NDP in 1988.

Kyle Delfing of the People’s Party of Canada previously ran in the riding in 2019.

Though he’s the only challenger with prior experience, he’s running for the youngest party, Maxime Bernier’s breakaway PPC, which splintered from the Conservatives in 2018.

Delfing has opposed vaccine passports and, along with the PPC, has called for a “return to normal” and full reopening of the economy.

Given the rise of anti-mask, anti-tax protests, he may be one to watch. Last go round, Delfing cornered 12.5 per cent of the local vote.

He says a PPC government would leave the Paris climate accord, eliminate the national carbon tax, and focus on local solutions.

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