ACTON – After a fast election campaign, the Conservative stronghold remains in Wellington-Halton Hills as Michael Chong has been re-elected to represent the riding in parliament.
With 210 of 240 polls reporting late Monday night, Chong had almost double the votes of Liberal Melanie Lang.
“I’m humbled that the people of this riding have once again entrusted me to represent them in Ottawa,” Chong said in an interview at a campaign party in Acton.
This is Chong’s sixth successful re-election campaign and seventh term representing the riding.
Wellington-Halton Hills has not elected any candidate besides Chong since it was first contested in 2004.
Chong said he thinks he’s still trusted by the constituents to represent them after all these years because people feel their voices are being heard.
“If they feel their concerns are being put forward on the floor at the house of commons, that’s the kind of representation they’re looking for,” Chong said. “I’ve always done my best to do that.”
With a Liberal minority called by the press and the federal government likely to be in a similar situation as it was before the election, Chong said Canadians sent a message to Trudeau that they don’t trust him with a majority government.
“They wanted him to go back to work and have a strong opposition holding them accountable,” Chong said. “That’s the message I take away because the results at this juncture look almost identical to the results five weeks ago.”
During the previous term, Chong was named to the shadow cabinet as the foreign affairs critic where he was outspoken about human rights issues in China. Chong was eventually sanctioned by China, meaning he can’t enter the country or do business with Chinese residents or institutions.
Chong said on the campaign trail he has heard people are concerned about increasing levels of debt, unaffordable housing and the divisions in our society, particularly when it comes to vaccination.
“We need to bring Canadians together to beat back this pandemic,” Chong said.
“I think that means doing two things at once, respecting people’s individual choices, their freedoms and their liberties while at the same time working together to make sure we’ve got a plan to get out of this pandemic and return to normal.”
Liberal challenger Lang said in a phone interview she remained in high spirits despite the result.
“I feel very proud of the work we’ve done and feel very accomplished with what we were able to achieve,” Lang said.
She said she believed she had made some ground for the Liberals in Wellington-Halton Hills through conversations with folks who she said previously weren’t Liberal supporters but were open to their ideas.
As of early Tuesday monring, Chong had about 52 per cent of the vote with Lang following behind with 27 per cent.