Bergen wins fourth term in Portage-Lisgar

Candice Bergen, pictured during the all-candidates forum in Morden, won her fourth term with 71 per cent of the vote. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)

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Incumbent Conservative candidate Candice Bergen won her fourth election in Portage-Lisgar, as the nation elected a minority Liberal government.

“Not exactly the results that we were looking for, but you know we live in this amazing country and democracy is democracy… when people speak they are always right,” she told supporters at an event in Oak Bluff. “We will do our job with strength, we will do our job with integrity.”

Bergen earned 31,403 votes in Portage-Lisgar, for a total of 71 per cent of the vote. That’s the second highest percentage of votes she’s won in four election campaigns which ranged from a high of 76 per cent in 2011 to a low of 60.8 per cent in 2015.

“I am more grateful and more humble than ever,” she said. “When you get this kind of support four elections in a row, it really is overwhelming and I feel so grateful and thankful to the people who put their trust in me.”

Bergen said she thinks that support comes simply because she represents local values.

“The people of Portage-Lisgar are the kind of people who work very hard, they don’t want the government interfering in what they’re trying to do which is make a living, raise a family, be compassionate and help others and they don’t want the government to mess that up,” she said. “I’m a Conservative and I believe the same thing. I represent the values and the ambitions I think, of the people of Portage-Lisgar.”

Bergen said the riding has always been home for her. Raised in Morden, she brought up her own family in Winkler.

Bergen said they also work hard in the riding to address people’s concerns and needs at the riding office.

“We really try in the riding to be the kind of office that is open and able to do as much to help people as possible, and then get out and meet people in the riding,” she said.

On the national stage the Liberals still form government, albeit a minority one. They saw their seat count drop from 184 to 157. The NDP also saw their seat count drop from 44 to 24.

The Conservatives saw gains, with 121 seats compared to 99 last election. The Bloc Quebecois tripled their seat count from 10 to 32, while the Green Party won three seats. One seat went to an independent.

As election results were still coming in, Bergen declined to comment on what exactly working with the minority Liberal government would look like.

She did say, the Conservatives would continue to work hard.

“We will continue to hold the government to account and do our job in opposition,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of challenges in this country and they’re not going away.”

Bergen said it’s important to accept what voters decide.

“We live in this amazing country Canada,” she said. “We have a democracy and people vote and they make decisions and then we live with the results of that.”