Tuesday October 4th was an evening of mixed emotions.
Most of all, it was an evening of gratitude for the overwhelming support that was given to me by the residents of the Steinbach Constituency. The margin by which I accepted re-election was both surprising and humbling and I simply want, together with my wife Kim, to say thank you to residents for your show of confidence. My commitment is to again work hard and do my best to represent each of you in the Manitoba Legislature for the next four years.
This election, in addition to participating in 5 all party debates across the province and campaigning in several ridings, we were able to visit about 60% of the homes in the Steinbach Constituency during the election. As with every election, we marveled at how much the City of Steinbach and RM of Hanover has changed since the last election with new housing developments in virtually every area. We were not only welcomed at the doors by many long-time friends but also by many people who are new to the southeast and many who are new to Canada. During the campaign Kim and I made many new friends for which we are grateful.
We appreciated each of these visits and also plan, as we have done in the past, to continue to knock on doors of homes and visit with residents between elections.
I also want to thank each of the individuals who ran in the Steinbach Constituency for other political parties. Thank you to both NDP candidate Dally Gutierrez and especially local Liberal candidate Lee Fehler for running good clean campaigns.
Of course, for supporters of the Progressive Conservative Party, it was disappointing to see the overall provincial results and I share in that disappointment. The night also resulted in P.C. Leader Hugh McFadyen announcing his intention to step down as Leader of the Party. Having seen the countless hours that Mr. McFadyen poured into the job and the time he spent away from his young family as a result, I simply want to convey my thanks to him for the time and effort he invested in the Party and the province. Many local residents got to meet Mr. McFadyen during his time as Opposition Leader and I know collectively we wish him well as he looks to move toward other opportunities in the future.
While the end result of the evening was another NDP government, I want to assure residents that I will continue to fight daily and fight vigorously for the issues that matter to our region. While that challenge is made more difficult being in opposition, we have in the past been able to see important projects move ahead as well as see legislation proposed locally passed into law. I will continue to seek your support in the future as we advocate for issues important to our region.
It is an incredible honour to represent the residents of the Steinbach Constituency and I will continue to work hard to honour the trust you have placed in me. Thank you again.