NDP candidate Rachel Blaney has been declared the winner in North Island-Powell River riding by Canadian Press. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

NDP candidate Rachel Blaney has been declared the winner in North Island-Powell River riding by Canadian Press. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Canadian Press declares NDP’s Blaney winner in North Island-Powell River

UPDATE: Liberal Peter Schwarzhoff upbeat: PPC’s Brian Rundle sees a future for the party

Canadian Press is declaring NDP candidate Rachel Blaney as the winner in North Island-Powell River.

With 115 of 251 polls reporting, Blaney leads with 8,527 votes to second place holder Conservative Shelley Downey’s 6,562 votes, according to Elections Canada as of 8:50 p.m.

CP is also declaring a Liberal government but not whether it’s a majority or not.

Meanwhile, Peter Schwarzhoff, the Liberal candidate for the North Island-Powell, who is sitting in fourth place in the vote currently, said he is feeling “upbeat and good about the campaign” and that he had no assumptions for the election results.

“I’m satisfied with things,” Schwarzhoff said. “I ran a positive campaign and looking at the numbers (nationally) with the Liberals, NDP and the Greens, it clearly shows we’ve got a progressive agenda with supportive allies.”

Schwarzhoff, who made his second run for federal office for the Liberals, noted while climate change was a hot topic on the campaign trail, affordability was also on the minds of many voters within the riding.

“It’s an important mandate and (voters) want bolder actions, but they may not be sure they know what’s required. (A Liberal government) is working for answers. Things that got me into polices such as environmental protection and climate change are on the agenda,” Schwarzhoff said.

Brian Rundle of the People’s Party of Canada said he was surprised to see party leader Maxime Bernier lost his own seat – the only one the PPC had – in the Beach, Que. riding, to Conservative Richard Lehoux.

“It‘s kind of sad – I don’t know what to say. It’s tragic for Max. I think the whole thing is kind of unexpected,” Rundle said.

He still believes strongly in the future of the People’s Party of Canada, though.

“We do have, in many ways, the only real choice to a government that has a global agenda. We believe we offer something very different and I think there is a place in [Canada] for us to have a say, and from my experience, there are a lot of people who agree with our vision.

“We won’t be going away. The People’s Party of Canada is not going away,” he said.

More to come..