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FLEETWOOD-PORT KELLS: Liberal Ken Hardie projected to retake seat

Focus will be on tougher measures on foreign money entering Canadian real-estate market, Hardie said
Liberal Ken Hardie celebrates a successful campaign Monday shortly after the polls closed. (Contributed photo)

Liberal incumbent Ken Hardie is the projected winner of the Fleetwood-Port Kells riding.

As of Tuesday (Sept. 21) morning, 209 of 210 polls are reporting Hardie in the lead with 19,834 votes, while Conservative Dave Hayer has 13,621 votes. NDP’s Raji Toor has 8,233 votes, Green Party’s Perry DeNure has 823 votes, People’s Party Amrit Birring has 1,240 votes and Independent Murali Krishnan has 137 votes.

In an interview with the Now-Leader shortly after he was declared the projected winner, Hardie said one of his focuses will be foreign money coming into the Canadian real estate market.

“Before the election I was speaking with the Prime Minister’s Office, making a real pitch to get more tough measures against foreign money coming in and buying Canadian real estate. You can see that that made its way into the platform,” Hardie said. “One of my first priorities is to see action on that one.”

Hardie said he will also focus on drugs, guns and gangs.

“It’s definitely something that hasn’t been fixed by any means, so I want to see more work there and progress.”

Hardie said the win means a lot to his team and he thanked his volunteers.

“For a long time I’ve operated on the theory that if you look after individual people well, somehow you hit a critical mass and the community kind of knows what you stand for and what you’re prepared to do for them,” Hardie said. “Our office has been outstanding. It’s not just me, it’s the whole team especially here in Surrey, but the two people we have in Ottawa as well.”

The Liberal Party is expected to form a minority government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap election on Aug. 15.

While a shorter-than-usual campaign, Hardie said it was an exhausting effort.

“We worked really hard and it was one of those things where all of a sudden, it’s over. Poof. Then all of the adrenaline and endorphins that you’ve been running on for the last five weeks start to settle down. I think I might need to sleep in tomorrow,” he laughed.

Hardie’s biggest challenge in the election was overcoming Conservative candidate Dave Hayer.

Fleedwood-Port Kells, which historically has been a Conservative riding, has turned Liberal for the last three consecutive elections. Prior to Hardie’s success, the riding was held by Conservative Nina Grewal from 2004-2015.

Hayer served as a BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-Tynehead from 2001 to 2013. He was nominated as the BC Liberal candidate in 2001 over Doug McCallum, who is now mayor of Surrey.

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Son of assassinated journalist Tara Singh Hayer, Hayer served as the parliamentary secretary for multiculturalism and immigration from 2005-2011.

He attempted to run for the Conservatives in the Cloverdale-Langley riding in 2015, however, he was defeated in the nomination process by Dean Drysdale.

The Fleetwood-Port Kells riding includes the Fleetwood, East Newton, Fraser Heights, Port Kills, and North Clayton neighbourhoods.

According to the 2016 census, the demographics of the riding are 30.3 per cent European, 30.1 per cent South Asian, 13 per cent Chinese, 9.1 per cent Filipino and 4.9 per cent Southeast Asian.

The population of the riding is about 116,958 residents, and average total income among residents in 2015 was $38,811.

The results posted Monday are preliminary. Mail-in ballots will not be counted until Tuesday.

About the Author: Aaron Hinks

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