ALISTAIR WATERS/KEVIN PARNELL
For the first time in 45 years, and just the second time since 1947, a Liberal will represent Kelowna-Lake Country in Parliament in Ottawa.
Rookie candidate Stephen Fuhr pulled off a stunning upset Monday night to defeat incumbent Conservative Ron Cannan and take the riding for the Liberals, part of a massive cross-country landslide that saw the Grits win a majority of seats in Parliament for the first time in more than a decade.
“This riding hasn’t been the colour red (the colour used by the Liberals) since 1969,” Fuhr told a large, cheering crowd Monday night.
But he added, as a Liberal candidate supported by local Greens and as the man who will represent the entire constituency, “Now there’s no colour to this riding.”
Fuhr took 46.1 per cent of the vote (29,614 votes) to Cannan’s 39.8 per cent (25,512 votes) and the NDP’s Norah Bowman at 14,1 per cent (9,044 votes). Voter turnout was 72 per cent.
Cannan had been MP for nine years.
“The community has spoken and I respect that,” said Cannan.
“Justin Trudeau ran a fantastic campaign and Canadians wanted a change and they’re going to get a change.”
When he was asked if he was caught up in the backlash against Stephen Harper Cannan didn’t take the bait.
“The fact is you are part of a team. I always say you hang together, you work as a team. I played sports all my life and the fact is you celebrate a victory as a team you go down as a team.”
Fuhr says he felt “blessed” and thankful to the voters of Kelowna-Lake Country.
“This was the biggest example of working together and cooperation that I have ever seen, said the 47-year-old retired Canadian Air Force major.
Fuhr said while he never thought winning would be a “slam dunk,” he began to feel his campaign gaining traction with voters in the last few days.