The Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding’s Conservative candidate Alana DeLong was shocked at the national federal election result that saw Justin Trudeau returned as prime minister with another minority government.
“We’ve got another election coming in 18 months,” she quipped. “We just spent all of this incredible effort — every party did — and spent $600 million of Canadians’ money and nothing.”
DeLong felt the Conservatives ran a great campaign across the board under Erin O’Toole and were ready to assume a minority government themselves.
“I really did think Canadians would look at what we were offering and realize it was what was going to move the country ahead,” she said.
On the campaign trail, DeLong said she was feeling good about peoples’ perception of O’Toole as leader and potential prime minister.
“It felt like people were getting to know him really well and the way he came out with a solid platform and actually accomplishing things,” she added. “But it didn’t work. It’s actually something I’ve got to put a lot of thought into it.”
DeLong felt her chances of making inroads in the NDP-dominated Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding were good.
“We did quite well, our incredible team and self-motivated people, too,” she said. “We knocked on nearly 10,000 doors. We really got out there and talking to people.
“To me, it’s always been a conservative riding. If you talk to people and what they really believe in, it really is a conservative riding. They really seem to be logical, salt-of-the-earth people.”
But DeLong still can’t get her head around the Liberals claiming a minority again with so much call for change that she experienced.
“The real perplexity for me was what happened nationally. It made no sense at all.”
DeLong has considerable political experience, including previously in Alberta. She won’t commit to running again, not right now at least, but it’s something that will always be in the back of her mind until the next election comes around.
“Never say no,” she said. “We’ve certainly done a tremendous amount of work in this riding.”