Conservatives could have 'significant' role in minority government, re-elected MP Bob Zimmer says

Conservative incumbent MP Bob Zimmer has been re-elected for a third term in Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.

Zimmer, first elected in 2011, returns to Ottawa as part of the official Opposition as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won a minority government, with 157 seats as of press time.

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Zimmer’s campaign headquarters in Fort St. John was filled with dozens of supporters Monday night. Zimmer finished with nearly 40,000 votes, winning 70% of the popular vote. He called the victory bittersweet.

“We know, especially in our resource-rich region, how important it is to have people at the wheel and the government that’s going to have a minority now is going to be the same one that didn’t get a softwood lumber agreement, it’s the same one that stalled on Kinder Morgan,” Zimmer said.

“We finally see LNG moving, and I’m just deeply concerned with the agreements that will be made, the signalling that the NDP and Liberals will help form that majority, at what cost to the rest of us in the west, but also the rest of the country?”

The Conservatives made significant gains of some 26 seats, up from 95 to 121, and winning 34.4% of the popular vote nationwide. That puts the party in a “significant” position to work with the Liberals, especially on key policy decisions regarding resource development, Zimmer said. He said his hope is the parties can work together to complete projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, advance the liquefied natural gas industry, and make headway on the forestry downturn in B.C.

“I think Justin Trudeau and the Liberal cabinet have to look at where it’s going to benefit them to work with us because it’s easy to say before the ballots are cast that we’re never going work with X or Y,” Zimmer said.

“But I think now they have to have a realistic conversation about it, and I hope they do. My biggest concern is if they come out with an announcement that … the NDP are going to prop up that government for four years. If that’s the case, then likely Kinder Morgan is on the table and likely won’t be built. My hope is we can work together on those matters.”

Liberal candidate Mavis Erickson was surprised by the margin of defeat but acknowledged the riding has long been a conservative stronghold. Erickson said she was still proud of her campaign.

“It was a really, really good campaign and I think the northern towns really need a voice and I don’t really know what to say,” she said.

Erickson also pointed to communities currently struggling with the forestry downfall in the north and said she doesn’t think enough is being done.

“I think the northern communities are suffering with the forestry downturn and the forest industry and not enough is being done for their families, and diversifying the economy in the north so that people want to stay in the north,” Erickson added.

Canada was last faced with minority governments in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Minority governments don’t last long, and the Conservatives are prepared for another election, Zimmer said.

“We’re ready to run in another election here,” Zimmer said. “My hope is we can somehow come together.”

The NDP lost 15 seats, dropping from 39 to 24 seats in the House.

The Bloc picked up 22 seats, up to 32, in Quebec; the Greens picked up 1 seat, bringing their total to three seats in the House.

Independents picked up just one seat — former Liberal justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould.

Preliminary Results

Bob Zimmer - 38,157
Mavis Erickson - 6,304
Marcia Luccock - 5,013
Catharine Kendall - 3,395
Ron Vaillant - 1,728

233 of 233 polls reporting

With a report from Prince George Matters 

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

9:45 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 24,508

Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 4,124

Marcia Luccock, NDP - 3,310

Catharine Kendall, Green - 2,305

Ron Vaillant, PPC - 1,192

163 of 233 polls reporting 

- - - -

9:30 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 18,762

Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 3,067

Marcia Luccock, NDP - 2,447
Catharine Kendall, Green - 1,793

Ron Vaillant, PPC - 875

130 of 233 polls reporting 

8:50 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 7,507
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 930
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 795
Catharine Kendall, Green - 569
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 330

55 of 233 polls reporting 

- - - - 

8:45 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 7,049
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 833
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 690
Catharine Kendall, Green - 501
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 307

50 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

8:30 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 5,115
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 598
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 462
Catharine Kendall, Green - 322
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 232

35 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

8:10 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 3,125
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 460
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 315
Catharine Kendall, Green - 240
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 145

22 of 233 polls reporting

- - - -

8:05 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 2,938
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 402
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 293
Catharine Kendall, Green - 218
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 139

20 of 233 polls reporting

- - - -

8 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 2,711
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 338
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 244
Catharine Kendall, Green - 181
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 128

17 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

7:58 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 2,458
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 327
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 236
Catharine Kendall, Green - 159
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 121

15 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

7:52 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 2,145
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 305
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 221
Catharine Kendall, Green - 155
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 114

11 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

7:44 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 2,117
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 302
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 221
Catharine Kendall, Green - 154
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 106

10 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

7:38 p.m.

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 610
Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 119
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 71
Catharine Kendall, Green - 48
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 24

6 of 233 polls reporting 

- - - - 

7:35 p.m.

Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 99
Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 98
Marcia Luccock, NDP - 45
Catharine Kendall, Green - 31
Ron Vaillant, PPC - 10

5 of 233 polls reporting

- - - - 

Latest local election tallies for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, 7:30 p.m. local time:

Mavis Erickson, Liberal - 41

Bob Zimmer, Conservative - 39

Marcia Luccock, NDP - 20

Catharine Kendall, Green - 14

Ron Vaillant, PPC - 6

2 of 233 polls reporting

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