Saskatchewan Party incumbent Colleen Young swept up in the Lloydminster constituency taking 4,340 votes, with the closest contender, NDP’s Michelle Oleksyn, coming in second with 410.
This will be Young’s second election win, but first crack at a full four year term, and she’s confident she has what it takes to represent the electorate.
“It’s going to be a longer time, I get that—I mean, the short 15 months that I was there was a huge learning growth for me in a fast period of time, but I think I stepped up to that challenge and did quite well at it,” she said among excited supporters at her campaign office shortly after the numbers came in.
Two local issues she’s looking to tackle in the coming years are issues with road repair on Highway 21 and the poor cellphone coverage in the northern part of the constituency.
She said she travels Highway 21 on a regular basis, so she knows first hand the concerns other motorists who travel on it have.
The Saskatchewan Party has set aside money to fix roads in the province and Young said she’ll try to have some of those dollars put to use on the highway.
“I intend to continue pushing it and to see if there’s something that can be done about it in the near future,” she said.
“I know that our government has committed another $70 million to repair and maintenance of highways on top of the budget we already have, that was one of our platforms, and I’m hoping maybe Lloydminster will get a piece of that.”
As for the cellphone coverage, she said there is a challenge with service and bandwidth in the north of the riding, with basically no service beyond Highway 3.
Even emergency workers like RCMP, ambulance and fire departments have problems communicating on cellphones in that area, which is a problem Young wants to advocate for.
“So that’s a huge concern and I hope that I can find a way to address that.”
Young’s sweeping victory didn’t come without hard work though, as it took a strong campaign involving weeks of door knocking and connecting with voters to pull off.
She said the overall feeling from residents at their doors was positive and she got many kudos along the way for the Saskatchewan Party’s achievements prior to the election.
The way the government had built up the economy and the amount of investment put into the province for things like infrastructure and job and population growth were things she said people recognized and helped lead to her new four year term.
“I also have the feeling, though, that there are challenges ahead of us and they’re (constituents) concerned about how those challenges are going to be addressed,” Young said.
“We are in a really long downturn in the oil sector and people are feeling that effect a lot.”
Young will have a chance to help address those concerns after winning almost 90 per cent of the Lloydminster vote Monday, something she also credits to the relationships built with people over her first 15 months in office.
She said she’s humbled and honoured by the trust and confidence voters have placed in her, and though she expected a bump in support during the election, the final numbers exceeded her expectations.
“I expected to have an increase here in Lloydminster, just knowing the amount of work I’ve been doing back since January and February, as well before the writ was even dropped, but not the large majority I did get; that’s somewhat of a surprise,” she said.
“But like I said, I’m humbled and I’m honoured that the people trust me and are confident in the work that I’m going to do on their behalf.”