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By Rob Paul
On Monday, Canadians across the country headed to the polls to vote in Canada's 44th federal election. Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for the election on August 15, the Liberal's once again are projected to form a minority government.
While Trudeau has been re-elected, so too has Conservative Kyle Seeback as the MP of Dufferin-Caledon.
Just before midnight on Monday, Seeback was projected to be re-elected.
As it stands in Dufferin-Caledon, Seeback has 46.1 per cent of the total votes with Liberal candidate, and Orangeville Councillor, Lisa Post behind with 32.5 per cent of the votes. Post was followed by Samantha Sanchez (NDP) with 10.1 per cent, Anthony Zambito (PPC) with 6.8 per cent, and Jenni Le Forestier (Green) with 4.1 per cent.
Seeback thanked his supporters in Dufferin-Caledon shortly after being re-elected and promised to continue to fight for key issues in the area.
“Thank you to the residents of Dufferin-Caledon for once again placing their trust and confidence in me for a second term,” he said. “I'm humbled by the support shown to me by my constituents from end to end of this riding. I'm looking forward to building on the progress we've made on many issues important to our community. I remain committed to: ensuring the swift expansion of rural broadband to every home in Dufferin-Caledon; supporting small businesses and farmers as they continue to struggle with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic; as well as ensuring seniors and those who were left behind by the Liberals, are finally provided with the care and support they deserve.”
After thanking his constituents, Seeback questioned some of the vaccine-focused tactics used by the Liberal Party in the federal election and the negative campaign brought by the PPC, who have seen growing support in this election.
“I cannot thank my exceptional campaign team enough for the countless hours of hard work they dedicated to my campaign,” he said. “It was thanks to them we were able to share our vision for Dufferin-Caledon with thousands of voters. I'm incredibly proud of what we achieved together over the last five weeks. It was a strong, positive, campaign that remained firmly focused on the issues important to residents.
“I do think I have to comment on the incredibly negative campaign run by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. They used vaccines as a wedge issue and in so doing, divided and polarized Canadians. It was irresponsible and only deepened divisions in Canada. I believe this was an unfortunate new low in Canadian politics.
“On the other side, we had another ugly, negative campaign run by the People's Party of Canada that sought to enrage or terrify Canadians over vaccine policy,” he said. “Both parties should be ashamed of the campaigns they ran. Canadians need leadership and politicians that bring people together, especially with difficult issues.”
After serving as MP for Dufferin-Caledon for the last two years, Seeback is proud to once again be the voice of the people.
“Dufferin-Caledon can continue to count on me to be a strong, effective voice for our community and will work hard to bring people together,” My priorities are the priorities of my constituents, always making myself accessible, and delivering real results. This is the representation my constituents want and deserve.”
This was Seeback's fifth election, and the third he has won. He previously served as MP in Brampton West—but it was unlike any he had participated in before given the circumstances of the pandemic and the short period of time between the election being called and election day.
With just over five weeks to campaign, Seeback's campaign manager Ben Ambler was happy to be representing a veteran of the campaign circuit in Seeback.
“There's a difference in the candidates and when you have a hyper-political candidate and someone who's experienced and done it before like Kyle,” said Ambler. “I think it allowed us to be as ready as humanly possible. We had a campaign office about a month in advance, our signs were ordered, we had a team put together, and we had a good student canvas team put together—we had 550 signs up on day one. We were anticipating the election more than a month out, he approached me to manage his campaign about two months before the election was called. When you have a very political candidate and someone who's done it before, you really get a good sense of the process. We were ready, no questions asked, for this.”
To run a campaign in the current state of the world wasn't something Ambler had expected in his political career, but it was something he and the rest of Seeback's team were ready to adapt the campaign strategy for when the election was called.
“It was a weird campaign; it was an election that nobody wanted because this takes a lot of energy and costs a lot of money. It was a weird election, and it was definitely a different campaign,” he said. “I think we certainly had fewer volunteers than we otherwise would have in a non-COVID year—some people understandably didn't feel comfortable, so we had to adapt and find different ways. We put a lot of effort into social media, and that reach has grown astronomically. We adjusted and it was difficult because campaigns are supposed to be exciting and fun and involve getting lots of people together, but we had to compartmentalize things and it may have taken away from the experience, but we were able to adapt. It was a different campaign for sure but having someone who's done this for a long time like Kyle allowed us to find ways to do it differently.”
With such little time to prepare for the campaign, Ambler says the team leaned on Seeback's track record in Dufferin-Caledon to show constituents exactly who they would be getting in the House and though the Conservative's didn't win the election, Seeback's support grew (from 42 per cent in 2019 to 46.1 in 2021).
“This was his fifth election—2008, 2011, 2015, 2019, and 2021—and having someone whose been in it made it so much easier,” he said. “He's learned from all those experiences and every single time the campaign process has gotten better. He's learned at every turn and that culminated in this one, and the next one will probably be even better. Also, Kyle being the incumbent, he's made a lot of efforts to reach out to constituents in the riding. In less than two years he'd sent out thousands of mailings to people in the riding to ask for feedback on various issues and bills and he's had telephone and mobile town halls.
“I think over the two years a lot of people realized he's a community-based representative and he works hard to make sure their voices are included when it comes to voting in parliament. A local candidate can make up a few percentage points here and there. A local candidate can build between three and five per cent and I think that Kyle this time was able to maximize that five per cent. At a time when we lost some support in Ontario, relatively speaking from where our ambitions were, he managed to increase his vote share. The power of incumbency in general doesn't do it justice, I think he worked hard as an incumbent for the last two years and that made a difference.”
Post date: 2021-09-23 11:23:36
Post date GMT: 2021-09-23 15:23:36
Post modified date: 2021-09-30 11:39:10
Post modified date GMT: 2021-09-30 15:39:10
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