After 10 years of working for the people of Kelowna-Lake Country, Conservative MP Ron Cannan was defeated on Monday night, swept up in a tide of Liberal red that ran to a majority government across Canada.
Liberal Stephen Fuhr beat Cannan in a tightly contested race in what was considered an upset in what was a Conservative stronghold in Kelowna-Lake Country.
Fuhr garnered 28, 653 votes with two polls still to report to Cannan’s 24,566. Norah Bowman of the NDP had 8,542 votes in an incredible election. Voter turnout in Kelowna-Lake Country was off the charts at 72.07 per cent as 64,170 of 89,033 eligible voters cast ballots.
As the polls closed in BC, the first results showed Fuhr with a narrow lead. At one point early on, Cannan’s name briefly flashed to the top of the list of the candidates in Kelowna-Lake Country, prompting his supporters to a round of applause.
But within an hour of the polls closing, Fuhr’s lead had built to 200 votes and as more polls came in within a half hour, that lead had surged to close to 1,000 votes, bringing a hush over the crowd of some 75 supporters at the Four Points Sheraton, where Cannan’s team spent the evening.
Once all three party leaders had made their speeches, Cannan finally emerged and admitted defeat.
“The community has spoken and I respect that,” said Cannan when he finally came out to address the crowd,
“Justin Trudeau ran a fantastic campaign and Canadians wanted a change and they’re going to get a change. I wish him and his wife and family the best in leading this country as we go through some difficult times with global economic uncertainty and secrity issues. We want to make sure we continue to be the most admired and respected country in the world.”
When he was asked if he was caught up in the backlash against Stephen Harper Cannan didn’t take the bait.
“The fact is you are part of a team. I always say you hang together, you work as a team. I played sports all my life and the fact is you celebrate a victory as a team you go down as a team.
“Thank you so much for this opportunity to serve the great community of Kelowna-Lake Country for the last nine and half years. It’s been remarkable time and I couldn’t have done it with each of you in this room.”
Fuhr will become just the second Liberal elected in the Central Okanagan.