He may have had to watch the television coverage for a little bit longer than last time, but it was pretty much a foregone conclusion and within less than one hour, Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ray Prins knew he was well on his way to winning his second term in office following the March 3 provincial election.
In accumulating 8,201 votes, Prins easily beat his next closest opponent Joe Anglin of the Green Party of Alberta who received 3,226 votes. Edith McPhedran of the Liberal Party placed third with 1,200 votes and was followed by Daniel Friesen of the Wildrose Alliance Party with 911 and Steven Bradshaw of the New Democratic Party who received 570 votes.
“Well of course I was very pleased with the numbers on the provincial level but equally pleased with my own numbers,” Prins said. “They were actually beyond what I expected but I knew we were solid Conservative in our constituency but we experienced a lot of pressure from the opposition here. If signs could vote I thought we might actually have some more pressure, but in the end my own votes went up and the percentage went up, so we did very well. The voters came through.”
Despite the fact that the Progressive Conservatives led pre-election polls from the start of the campaign right up until Election Day, Prins said it was still a bit of a shock to see how badly they had beaten the opposition parties.
“The pundits all said the numbers were going to go down so everybody was braced for the worst but expecting the best and the best did come through,” he said. “The voters are always right and they made the right choice. I think the landslide came because we presented a very positive platform. We came out with a plan, stuck with the plan and stayed positive.”
With a very strong mandate and four years ahead of him, Prins said there are a number of priority items that he would like to see completed over the next four years starting with fixing up the roads and highways.
“Within our own constituency, some of the things I’d like to see happen is the upgrading of some of our road infrastructure,” he said. “I think because of the rapid and enormous growth in our constituency, highways like Highway 12, Highway 53, Highways 280, 604, 771; there’s a number of roads that are seeing a lot of wear and tear because of the enormous amount of activity in the area, and I’d like to see some work done on that.”
Prins also pointed to infrastructure work and the modernization of area schools – most notably the Ponoka Composite High School as well as some much needed work on the Lacombe long-term care home as other areas that he’d like to see receive some attention, among others.
“We have seen a lot of work in our constituency in the past three years,” he said. “Since the last election we’ve seen a lot of big projects happening, the regional water system being one of them. I think that project will be an on-going project especially in the eastern part of the constituency. So there are a number of these projects that we have begun, and I want to see them through.”
Prins said the public liked the way the Conservatives campaigned this election and he thanked those who supported him and his party.
“I think that the people liked the positive campaign that we put forward and I am just very thankful for the support that I got from the voters and the enormous trust that the voters put, not only in myself, but in the premier and our caucus to form the next government and we will provide good governance in the future,” he concluded.