Thank you, Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa! Tonight’s message is loud and clear: Our riding wants a voice in Ottawa that will continue to stand up for rural Canada – and I will do that
The timing of this election was not our choice. But despite the challenges and difficulties presented to us – our campaign adapted and persisted.
We installed hundreds of signs, made thousands of phone calls, and knocked on a record number of doors.
My good ol’ Dodge has put on nearly 10,000 more kilometers and has now made it through two elections.
I should also mention that the team finally understands the value and purpose of a Ram Box.
Our local campaign was focused on supporting rural Canadians. It was about reversing the course of neglect that Justin Trudeau has shown us.
I have proudly lived and worked in our constituency for my entire life. I understand what it means to be a rural Canadian.
I understand the importance of community and family to rural Canadians. And tonight’s local victory is a victory for the farmers, ranchers, and outdoorsmen. It’s a victory for the families and local businesses within our constituency.
And it’s a victory for the community organizations, seniors, and future generations who proudly call our rural Manitoban constituency their home.
There is an old saying that “striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.”
But tonight, we celebrate a successful harvest that was a result of the seeding throughout the last 36 days.
And the reason we worked so hard and gave this campaign so much effort, was for you - the people - the people of Dauphin – Swan River - Neepawa. And tonight, all of our hard work pays off!
The reality of tonight’s victory is that we could not have succeeded alone.
Thank you to the volunteers who have dedicated hours, days and weeks of their time to our cause and our campaign;
I know how valuable your time is; so please know your efforts have resulted in something you should all be very proud of.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us financially;
Your donations have fueled our campaign and have allowed us to run a full time and professional operation. And thank you to the voters - for putting your trust in me to represent you once again as your Member of Parliament.
I know there is not enough time to mention all the people who made tonight possible each by name, but I do need to acknowledge a few people who deserve a very special thank you.
Bob and Lois Edmundson - Our sign coordinators who drove many, many kilometers to deliver and install signs all over the riding. Your unwavering support and friendship will always be treasured by both Leigh and I.
Rhianne Parkes - Our Volunteer Coordinator who many of you may have heard from during this campaign. Rhianne selflessly put in many hours to ensure we had a great team in place to get the job done. And we got the job done.
Jessie Mayes - Our Get Out the Vote Coordinator and all-around campaign support team member. Jessie was instrumental in organizing canvasses both at the door and on the phone and by the looks of the results tonight she did “Get out the Vote”.
Levi Cottingham - Levi joined my MP office this summer as an intern, and we were so fortunate to have him jump on board with our campaign team.
Levi is our champion door knocker! He holds the team record for the most doors knocked. He could often be found knocking on doors alone, mainly because no one else could keep up to him!
John Mendrikis – our campaign’s official agent. John has been a constant pillar to our campaign by keeping our finances in check.
His knowledge of Elections Canada rules and regulations has ensured that our campaign team didn’t do anything to land us in jail.
Michael Kreshewski - our campaign manager. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for your hard work, friendship, and determination throughout this unorthodox campaign.
One of Michael’s rules of politics is “nothing is moved unless pushed” and Michael pushed this campaign all the way to the finish line, as we all know “the campaign never sleeps.”
To my family and in particular to my wife Leigh - thank you. I know this was a tough campaign for you and my words cannot express how much your support and positivity means to me and to the team.
Yesterday we ended this campaign door knocking in Strathclair - just the two of us. In the same fashion that this whole journey began two years ago. There is no doubt that I would not be here today without you.
So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
In the coming weeks, I will return to Ottawa to take a seat in the House of Commons.
Please know that the seat I will take is not mine – it is yours.
I promise to continue to represent you in the best way I can. Whether you voted for me or not, I pledge to work for you and fight for you.
Although the curtains to the campaign close tonight, the real work is just beginning. But for now, let’s celebrate in the moment. Thank you.