PRINCE ALBERT RIDING — Randy Hoback credits a desire to remove Trudeau as Prime Minister among his constituents that led to his Conservative Party victory in the Prince Albert riding.
Representing the Conservative Party, Hoback was first elected as MP in 2008, before being reelected in 2011, 2015, and 2019 where he secured 68 per cent of the vote in the Prince Albert riding.
“We were very confident going in,” Hoback said. “Right from the start of it we knew we were going to do well, there’s such a momentum in place and thriving to get rid of Trudeau, that was the key issue everybody talked about.”
With 197 of 198 polls reporting In the Prince Albert riding of 2021 election on the morning of Sept. 21, Hoback secured 21,526 votes, a total of 65.3 per cent. He was followed by Ken MacDougall, NDP with 4,909 votes, a total of 14.9 per cent; then Estelle Hjertaas, Liberal, with 3,376 votes, a total of 10.2 per cent.
Fourth was Joseph McCrea, with the PPC at 2,390 votes, a total of 7.2 per cent, then Heather Schmitt, Maverick Party, with 443 votes, a total of 1.3 per cent. Hamish Graham, with the Green Party received 346 votes, a total of one per cent.
Hoback thanked the voters as well as the other candidates who ran against him.
“It’s a huge commitment, it’s a stressful time for anybody to put their name on the ballot and for them to step out in a leap of faith. To try is always honourable, and I appreciate them for doing that.”
While the Conservative Party received the majority of the votes for the riding, the same wasn’t the case through ridings across Canada with the Liberal Party securing a minority government.
Hoback called the national results “frustrating”.
“We were hoping for a breakthrough whether it be a minority or majority government. We were dreaming of a majority but hoping for a minority,” he said. “I think lots of analysis will go into it and see what exactly happened.”
As an MP, Hoback has served as the shadow minister of international trade, chair of the Saskatchewan Conservative Party Caucus, the deputy shadow minister of international trade and the official opposition critic for Canada and United States relations. He has also served as the chair and vice-chair of the House of Commons standing committee on international trade, and as a member of the standing committee on Finance, the standing committee on natural resources, the standing committee on procedure and House affairs, and the standing committee on agriculture & agri-food.
This election year, Hoback said the greatest concern was being able to connect to voters directly through COVID-19. In response, he held various barbecues throughout the region.
“It was really tough to get out and talk to people. It wasn’t like a normal campaign where you can do rallies, you can go around the riding doing different events. With the COVID rules and coming out of COVID restrictions people were unsure about getting out and talking to people, so we just had to figure out a way to make sure they felt safe and comfortable.”
During the 2021 election, the Conservative Party ran on a platform of jobs, accountability, mental health, country, economy and environment.
For jobs, the party promised to take immediate action to help the hardest hit sectors; assist small business as well as provide incentives to invest in, rebuild, and start new businesses; and create opportunity in all sectors of the economy and all parts of the country.
For accountability, the party promised to put the country first by enacting the tougher accountability and transparency laws; toughen the Conflict of Interest Act and impose higher penalties; toughen the Lobbying Act; and increase transparency.
For mental health, the party promised to boost funding to the provinces for mental health care; provide incentives to employers to provide mental health coverage to employees; and create a nation-wide, three-digit suicide prevention hotline.
For country, the party promised to implement a national emergency preparedness plan which will be measured and updated annually. This would include preventing pandemics, detecting and assessing threats and countering the threats.
For economy, the party promised to wind down emergency COVID-19 support programs “in a responsible way as Canadians are vaccinated and the economy re-opens.” Their platform states that this means to ensure that stimulus measures are targeted and time-limited to avoid creating a structural deficit.
For environment, the party promised to introduce low carbon savings accounts, encourage more zero emission vehicles in Canada, and implement carbon border tariffs.