Tuesday November 17, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
On recount of the votes in the mainland riding of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, BC Liberal candidate Jordan Sturdy has been re-elected by a margin of 60 votes.
Elections BC announced the results today in a release around 3:30 pm, showing Sturdy with 37.54% of the vote and BC Green candidate Jeremy Valeriote with 37.30% of the vote.
First off, the result with such a narrow margin is a stark reminder of the importance of every vote.
Further, in this case, it makes a significant difference for the BC Green Party who at dissolution had two (though previously three) seats and held the balance of power in a minority government led by the BC NDP. They had been hoping to at least have three seats as a result out of the snap election that now premier-elect John Horgan called back in September.
The two Greens in the BC Legislative Assembly are the party’s leader Sonia Furstenau (Cowichan Valley) and Adam Olsen (Saanich North and The Islands) who served as interim party leader after Andrew Weaver resigned from that position just ahead of 2019 year-end.
Sturdy has held the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding since first being elected in 2013 (re-elected in 2017 and again in this recent 42 provincial general election). He was groomed up the ranks under the Christy Clark BC Liberal government. The riding includes the wealthy areas of West Vancouver and the Whistler resort area, urban and rural, with a strong business emphasis in the tourism sector.
Impact on the Green Party:
The BC Green Party is much diminished in the new BC NDP majority government. Premier-elect John Horgan no longer needs the backing of the Greens or the BC Liberals for any legislation that his government puts forward.
The BC NDP have 57 seats, the BC Liberals 28 and the BC Greens two, for the total of 87 seats of power. That comfortable margin allows Horgan to place an NDP MLA into the speaker’s chair. The 2017-2020 Horgan government relied on the Green support because both the NDP and the BC Liberals each had 41 seats.
The recount process:
The judicial recount in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky was done because the top two candidates were apart in the results by less then 1/500 of the total ballots. There is a two-day appeal period before the judge can issue a certificate of results. The appeal period will expire this Thursday, November 19, 2020.
On election day October 24, Valeriote was projected to win but fell 41 votes behind. Today he offered his congratulations to Sturdy but also said he will continue to build the BC Green Party over the next four years.
“Of course, I am disappointed that Jeremy won’t be joining Adam and me in the legislature,” said Furstenau in a news release shortly after the Elections BC release. “I am proud of his efforts to share our vision with his community and the work of all his campaign team.”