It was no shock when Devin Dreeshen’s name was called as the next MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake Tuesday night after the polls closed.
Incumbent Dreeshen was the favoured candidate going into the election, and he maintained his momentum throughout the 28-day election.
He swept the opposition away and was declared the MLA for the riding early in the night. Around 9 p.m. he already had the majority of votes with only eight out of 86 polls accounted for.
Dreeshen said it was really exciting when the news broke a little more than an hour after the polls closed.
“It was just really exciting… It was great to see our positive vision and positive campaign that we have been promoting over the last 28 days, that it resonated with Albertans,” Dreeshen said at his party surrounded by family and well-wishers.
According to Dreeshen what really struck a chord with Albertans, and won the UCP a majority government was their platform of rebuilding the economy and getting pipelines built.
“They care about jobs, economy, pipelines, that is what we heard from [the voters], so it is great to see these results.”
He said Alberta residents wanted to see a change and were not happy with the direction the province was heading.
For Dreeshen, that is what helped him earn the votes of his constituents.
“Albertans wanted a change, they wanted something that was different. I think that we as United Conservatives offered that positive change and more economic focus…” Dreeshen said.
Next on his list of things to do is to take down signs. After that he says he will need to change his focus on how he works in Edmonton.
Up until the election, Dreeshen was an opposition MLA and sat as the Trade Critic in Legislature, now he will be working as a government MLA.
“Ultimately the first thing that we are going to do is the Carbon Tax Repeal Act, which is something that resonated very well across the riding,” he said.
Dreeshen is looking forward to another four years as the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA, after serving roughly eight months in the role from the 2018 by-election.
In the next four years he says he will consult and speak with his constituents more about legislation going through in Edmonton.
Dreeshen will be joined by many fellow UCP members in Legislature as the party swept the rural ridings across Central Alberta and the province.
UCP Party Leader Jason Kenney was also elected in a landslide win over incumbent Rachel Notley.
At his victory party Kenney told a huge crowd that April 16 was a great day for the Province of Alberta.
“Today our great province has sent a message to Canada and the world that Alberta is open for business,” he told the crowd.
Kenney and the UCP won the province over on their platform of creating jobs, jobs and more jobs in the province through the re-energizing of the oil and gas sector.
He says he promises the people of Alberta that he will fight for them to get pipelines built and to take on any who may oppose Alberta’s oil and gas.
“On April 16 we start with Rachel Notley and in October we end with Justin Trudeau,” Kenney said at a rally just outside Sylvan Lake before the election.
The UCP also hit home for many voters with the promise to abolish Alberta’s carbon tax and to fight the federal government on instating their own.
They also promised to “turn off the taps” to British Columbia should they continue to impede the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Attention will now turn to the spring-summer session of Legislature where Kenney promised near sweeping changes as soon as he is sworn in.
-with files from Canadian Press