By Adrian Dayrit
Both Filipino MLA candidates walked away disappointed Tuesday night following the Provincial election, where the United Conservative Party won a majority government.
Filipino candidates from Calgary and Edmonton representing both the NDP and UCP parties experienced disappointment in their first run in provincial politics.
NDP Calgary-East candidate Cesar Cala lost to UCP candidate Peter Singh. As of 11 p.m. on April 16, Cala trailed Singh by 1,200 votes.
Cala stepped in to Calgary East, which was won by former NDP candidate Robyn Luff in the 2015 election. However, Luff was removed from the NDP party in 2018 and sat as an independent. Luff did not run in this election.
“Well of course we are disappointed with the result, but it is the decision of the people and I respect that,” he says. “We had a lot of good breakthroughs in our riding and were able to engage new voters.”
Cala recruited family and friends to door-knock and volunteer for his campaign, many of which were first-time volunteers in a political campaign.
“We had a lot of new volunteers, and a lot of walk-in volunteers comprising mostly of young people,” he says. “It was a good experience for all of us.”
Cala says he will continue to be involved in the community.
“When the dust settles, we will use the lessons we learned from this campaign to continue to serve the community,” he says.
Cala campaign volunteer, Simon Bondoc says the election outcome was not a surprise.
“I expected the results and I feel we ran a good campaign,” Bondoc says. “I’m proud to have volunteered for the official opposition.”
In the Edmonton-Glenora, UCP candidate and Filipina Marjorie Newman, lost to the incumbent, former NDP health minister Sarah Hoffman in a landslide vote.
Hoffman took 58 per cent of the vote in that race, winning with more than 5,000 votes over Newman.
The UCP will form a majority government taking 63 ridings, leaving the NDP as the official opposition with 24 seats.