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Tories take 22 seats in BC, a gain of four ridings

The song accompanying Conservative Kelowna-Lake Country MP, Ron Cannan, as he strode to the podium to make his re-election victory speech, was "Taking Care of Business."

Which is exactly what the Conservatives did in B.C., where they won almost 45 per cent of the popular vote and claimed 22 of the province's 36 seats in Parliament.

There were no surprises in the Central Okanagan, where Cannan captured 56 per cent of the vote, up from 49 per cent in 2006. Next door in the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla, Stockwell Day won 58 per cent of the ballots, eight points higher than in the last election.

In a scrum with reporters, Cannan attributed the Conservatives success in British Columbia to their fiscal policies.

"The fact that the carbon tax that was being proposed by the federal Liberals has been a big issue for Mr. Dion and obviously with the NDP wanting to raise corporate taxes," he said. "Our fiscal prudent approach is well received by British Columbians and I think it has been reflected in the polls."

Cannan said that by and large, Canadians have become more comfortable with Stephen Harper as prime minister, though he was disappointed the Conservatives couldn't make any gains in Quebec.

"We worked really hard to ensure we would have some additional representation in Quebec," he said.

Asked if Quebec was the last nut the Conservatives had to crack to eventually form a majority government, Cannan replied no, that what needs to happen is a realignment of parliament giving the West more seats.

"I think we have to get more representation in Western Canada and have democratic reform and make sure Western Canada has that balance and power," he said. "For too long Quebec has had too much influence. I want to make sure that we have a balanced approach and that Western Canada has a stronger voice."

One thing which surprised some veteran reporters who had covered previous victory parties – back when this area was represented by the Conservative‚s predecessors, the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance – was the noticeable presence of young people this time around.

One of them was 27-year-old accountant, Jeremy Sundin. "I strongly agree with the conservative ideology of less government interference," he said. "I like to have a strong military, low taxes and I believe in traditional values. And so that is the Conservative Party."

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