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'We need to get this country back together,' Shipley says following victory

'Number one thing tomorrow morning is opening up the emails and trying to help people again,' says Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte MP

Conservative candidate and local incumbent Doug Shipley is back for another term in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. 

This is Shipley’s second consecutive term as the riding's Member of Parliament, after winning his first term Oct. 21, 2019.

While going door-to-door during this campaign, Shipley said he heard a variety of concerns from constituents, from affordability to questioning why there was an election in the first place. 

With the numbers predicting the Conservatives being the official opposition again, Shipley said his main job, and that of his party, is to represent the people as best they can. 

“That’s always been my main concern is making sure I am representing local as best I can. We will get together as a caucus and do some planning and figure out how to best make this work for everybody in Canada,” he said during his election night event at The Queen’s Restaurant in downtown Barrie. “Considering Mr. Trudeau thought he was going to win a majority, that’s the only reason he called this, I think we did OK just to hold him to this.

"We obviously would have liked to win and be in power and get Canada back on track, but unfortunately not looking the way it’s going to turn out. Hopefully, next time," Shipley said Monday night. 

With 155 of 201 polls reporting at 12:11 a.m., Shipley had 11,520 votes, followed by the Liberals' Tanya Saari in second place with 7,953 votes, the NDP's Sarah Lochhead in third with 5,084 votes, and People's Party candidate Chris Webb with 1,854 votes.

Getting things done while not in power is not complex but also not exactly easy, Shipley acknowledged. 

“The government controls the agenda and we can vote on things that we feel are appropriate. We will have to see how they want to proceed moving forward. Hopefully, they are going to realize what’s important to residents now,” he said. “We need to get this country back together. There’s a lot of divisiveness right now … and it’s time to get people back together and bring Canada back together and be a cohesive country.

“Once I am in office, I represent everybody. Whether you’re PPC, NDP, Conservative or Liberal, I represent all residents of BSOM.”

The 55-year-old husband and father of two has lived in the riding for more than 25 years and was a member of city council for three terms, representing Ward 3. Shipley served as chair of finance and corporate services, chair of infrastructure, investment and development services committee, and deputy chair of the Barrie Police Services Board. He also sat on several committees, including the Barrie and Area Physician Recruitment Task Force.

More recently, he has served on the standing committee on transport, infrastructure and communities. He previously also served on the standing committee on public safety and national security.

His first order of business, he said, is to get back in the office and start clearing out his email box. 

“When the writ gets dropped, you’re technically not the MP any more. It always bothers me because I would be at some doors this time, and there’s a lot of issues going on, and you just can’t help them,” Shipley said. “Number one thing tomorrow morning is opening up the emails and trying to help people again.”

Shipley said he is proud of how he and his fellow BSOM candidates ran their campaigns during this election.

“It’s a tough job. It’s tough to put your name out there and go for it, whether you win or lose. I know all the other candidates here in BSOM ran an honest, positive campaign,” he said. “This morning I visited one of them just to shake her hand and say good campaign. I was proud of the way we held ourselves here. Win or lose, I was proud of the way we came through it. There was no mud slinging here.”