By Cole Parkinson
After big wins in 2015 and 2019, Martin Shields has once again won the Bow River seat during the federal election in 2021.
With nearly 70 per cent of the vote across the Bow River riding, Shields was declared the winner fairly early on election night.
Behind Shields was Jonathan Bridges (People’s Party), Michael MacLean (NDP), Getu Shawile (Liberal), Orrin Bliss (Maverick Party), and Tom Lipp (Christian Heritage Party).
“Well, it looks like a redo of two years ago,” stated Shields from his constituency office on Monday night. “The numbers are very significant in terms of voter support and I’m very much honoured for that support. The electorate that I know and many people know is pretty volatile. I don’t know why you’d call an election when the population is that volatile as it is, so he called it to get a majority and people said no. I think we’ve been experiencing, for a variety of reasons, that this was an election that people didn’t want.”
Once the snap election was called in late August, Shields says his team got to work right away to form a strong campaign before voters hit the polls.
With five other candidates running in Bow River, Shields highlighted the fact voters had plenty of choice in the federal election.
“Personally, we worked hard for five weeks. We had a good campaign in a sense of active people from the Christian Heritage Party, Maverick Party, the People’s Party, and even the Liberals who had a candidate here this time. We didn’t have a Green candidate, but they were all viable candidates. We were all out there at the forums, I think we did a half-dozen and we let people have a choice. I think people had a variety to look at and people made their choices,” he confirmed.
Shields also touched on the fact that many constituents in Bow River expressed their opinion the election was not needed.
“It was very similar from one end of the riding to the other — they thought the election didn’t need to happen. COVID was ramping up, drought, and in rural, they thought there were a variety of reasons and they didn’t see anything change. They didn’t see a reason for this election, but they were very angry at the Liberal Party and (Justin) Trudeau. That was a steadfast thing that I heard was they wanted change. That didn’t happen.”
While Shields was happy with the win in Bow River, he also acknowledged the fact Canada is in the same position it was during the last federal election in 2019. With another Liberal minority government formed, Shields expressed his opinion another Trudeau-led government is not ideal for the future of Canada.
“Federally, it’s the same result as before. Am I disappointed in that? Absolutely. I don’t believe that a Trudeau-led government, as he has done, is what we need for the future. So I’m disappointed that they are back as the minority government instead of us. I tend to believe this is two minority wins, if you call them wins, for Trudeau.”
As Shields gets ready to head back to Parliament in the next few weeks, he expressed his excitement that many Bow River constituents got out to vote in this election.
Whether they voted for him or not, Shields was just happy people used their democratic right.
“In every forum and whatever place I went, people may have had a different opinion, but I said ‘the most important thing is you get out and vote.’ That’s what this democracy is about, that’s what people have got is a democracy. However you vote, please do it, don’t not vote even if you’re upset or angry — please vote,” he stated. “So, if you vote for me, fantastic, and I thank all those people who did support me. But voting was the most important thing people went out and did. That’s the critical message from me — people needed to get out and vote.”