Election results released by Elections Canada show re-elected Conservative MP did substantially better in the South Cariboo than in the Kamloops-Thompson-Nicola riding as a whole.
Across the riding, McLeod earned 44.7 per cent of the vote. However, in the South Cariboo (Lac la Hache to Clinton and Interlakes to Canoe Creek) McLeod took home not just a plurality of the seats but a majority with approximately 55.8 per cent (4,605 votes) of the vote. Liberal candidate Terry Lake, who received 27.2 per cent of votes in the riding as a whole, dropped to approximately 18.4 per cent (1,521 votes) in the South Cariboo.
That increase in support in the South Cariboo comes down to a couple of things, says McLeod.
“First of all, the total lack of recognition of the forestry crisis, which of course in 100 Mile is creating significant concerns and issues and the fact that the Prime Minister was in the riding and didn’t even mention the crisis, [yet] with SNC Lavalin really went to the wall with what he claimed was jobs.”
Furthermore, there’s been a lack of understanding with things that are important to voters, such as going after law-abiding gun owners, she says.
“I know that makes people in the Cariboo very concerned.”
Of course, the government’s stance on resource development is also a factor, she says.
“I think that reflects certainly in the votes for the area.”
NDP candidate Cynthia Egli and Green Party candidate Iain Currie saw a slight drop in support locally compared to the riding as a whole, from 13.7 to 12.7 per cent and 12.1 to 10.3 per cent respectively.
Some of the less popular parties actually saw more support in the local area. PPC candidate Ken Finlayson received 2.0 per cent of the vote locally, compared to 1.6 per cent in the riding as a whole. Animal Protection Party candidate Kira Cheeseborough received 0.5 per cent of the vote locally, compared to 0.4 per cent in the riding as a whole. Communist Party candidate Peter Kerek was at 0.2 per cent in both.
McLeod’s lead was even more pronounced in the advanced vote, receiving 59.1 per cent locally.
“I’m really honoured,” she says. “To have such support from the Cariboo is always something, you know, I take to heart.”
McLeod thanks the people who voted for her, as well as the volunteers, and says she’ll be looking to make a new hire for the South Cariboo office as the previous person retired.
Locally, the only polling location where McLeod lost was at the Edward Billy Centre (Canoe Creek) where Currie beat her with 10 votes to nine. Although voting from the mobile unit, which went to the 99 Mile Motel, Carefree Manor and Fisher Place, saw a very tight result with McLeod narrowly edging Lake with 17 votes to 16.
Locally, McLeod performed best in Loon Lake (60.9 per cent) and Lone Butte (59.75 per cent). Lake’s best performances were from the mobile unit (37.2 per cent), Interlakes (24.1 per cent) and 70 Mile (24.4 per cent). Egli did well in Canim Lake (24.14 per cent) and Clinton (16.2 per cent). Currie similarly did well in Canim Lake (17.6 per cent) as well as Canoe Creek (41.7 per cent). Finlayson faired best in Forest Grove (4.35 per cent). Cheeseborough took home 1.7 per cent in 108 Mile and 100 Mile and Kerek’s best performance was with the mobile unit (2.3 per cent).
Overall less than one per cent of South Cariboo ballots were spoiled (a total of 66), however, a substantial number came from a single box in 108 Mile Ranch which saw 18 out of 144 ballots spoiled (12.5 per cent). One of the early voting boxes from 100 Mile also saw a higher percentage of rejected ballots with 12 out of 373 (3.2 per cent).
“The vote is secret, so we don’t attempt to discern whether a ballot was improperly marked intentionally, or by mistake,” says Matthew McKenna, spokesperson for Elections Canada.