Judge overseeing recount in tight race for Calgary-Falconridge

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell congratulated Premier-designate Jason Kenney on his success in the provincial election. She said the incoming cabinet ministers should expect three things: an exciting, rare job, unlimited possibilities in Alberta and teamwork.

Ballots from a tight race in last month’s Alberta election are being recounted by hand in a Calgary courtroom.

United Conservative candidate Devinder Toor won the Calgary-Falconridge seat by 96 votes on April 16.

A judicial recount was requested by NDP candidate Parmeet Singh Boparai, who came in second.

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Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Michele Hollins is overseeing the recount.

The courtroom has been filled with election clerks, returning officers and scrutineers.

The top two candidates, as well as Liberal Deepak Sharma, have also been there, along with their lawyers.

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Hollins told election workers that their task takes a lot of mental energy, so they should be patient and ask for breaks if needed.

“We’re all here because we believe in the democratic system that’s given rise to this entire process,” she said.

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Drew Westwater, Alberta’s deputy chief electoral officer, said it’s hoped the recount would wrap up Tuesday, but it could carry over into Wednesday.

Candidates have two days to appeal once Hollins has certified the recount, he said. Once that time has passed, Elections Alberta would update its official results if the tally has changed.

It’s the only recount arising from the election won by Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party.

The UCP took 63 seats in the 87-seat legislature and the NDP won 24.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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