Saturday October 24, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC [Last update: 9 pm October 25, 2020]
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
Tonight BC NDP Leader John Horgan’s hunch for strong citizen support (as a result of how his government has handled the COVID-19 pandemic) has paid off with a significant NDP win in the 42nd BC Provincial General Election.
As of 11 pm tonight the party standings are 55 BC NDP, 29 BC Liberal and 3 BC Green.
The results available from Elections BC this evening include counts of the votes cast on election day and in advanced polls, but not those made by mail. Over half a million mail-in ballots are still to be counted in 87 electoral areas province-wide. That will take up to three weeks.
Horgan recruited the most diverse slate possible in terms of race and gender, and promoted the positive results achieved by the NDP government for British Columbians during the pandemic so far.
With his broader reach, Horgan’s NDP candidates won some ridings on the mainland that were long held by BC Liberals and was certainly the wind beneath the wings of all the re-elected NDP candidates on Vancouver Island and the mainland.
Votes for the BC Liberals dropped in every area of BC, and so far show no wins on Vancouver Island. The BC Greens held onto three seats (the same number as in 2017, though this time their third seat is on the mainland instead of all three seats being on Vancouver Island).
On Vancouver Island:
On Vancouver Island the NDP significant victory includes the re-election of John Horgan (Langford-Juan de Fuca), Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin), Rob Fleming (Victoria-Swan Lake), and Lana Popham (Saanich South).
Newly elected with the BC NDP are Murray Rankin (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) where previously the seat was held by former BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver, and Grace Lore (Victoria-Beacon Hill) in the riding held formerly by long-time MLA Carole James.
The popular Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne was elected handily tonight in Mid Island-Pacific Rim.
The Premier’s riding:
The results for John Horgan in his fifth election win show 65.39% of the vote so far (mail-in ballots have yet to be counted). BC Green candidate Gord Baird pulled in 18.04% and Kelly Darwin for the BC Liberals got 16.00% [data as of 1:58 am October 25, 2020].
Key MLAs re-elected:
Re-elected Premier John Horgan sees several of his key cabinet ministers re-elected including Adrian Dix (Health Minister 2017-2020), Mike Farnworth (Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General 2017-2020), Rob Fleming (Education Minister 2017-2020), and Melanie Mark (Advanced Education Minister 2017-2020).
Also key players re-elected are Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin) who has served in the role of the first BC Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, and Sheila Malcolmson who did some significant coastal environment work in the Nanaimo area.
David Eby is re-elected and may be shifted to a new active role now that Murray Rankin could possibly be Attorney General.
Horgan will need to make a careful choice for Finance Minister in his new cabinet, given that long-time MLA Carole James (who served ably and admirably as Finance Minister 2017-2020) did not seek re-election this time around.
The leaders speak:
- NDP Leader John Horgan (re-elected as Premier of BC) – spoke just after 10:30 pm. He thanked his family, his friends and supporters in Langford-Juan de Fuca, and British Columbians for seeing the vision of the BC NDP during the pandemic. He thanked Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry for her leadership. And wrapped up his short speech with: “Let’s get back to work.” On Twitter, Horgan wrote: “It has been an honour and a privilege for the past three and a half years to serve British Columbians, to make sure we can make life better for everyone.”
- The first leader to speak this evening was BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, acknowledging the power and responsibility of the democratic voting process. He advises waiting to see the final count, with over 500,000 mail-in ballots still to be counted. He asked people “to be patient, respect the democratic process and await the final results”. He was unable to win any seats on Vancouver Island and lost hold of key ridings in Richmond, North Shore, Langley and Chilliwack.
- BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau (re-elected) spoke after Wilkinson but before Horgan (see statement). She acknowledged support from fellow MLA Adam Olsen who was re-elected in North Saanich and The Islands. She thanked people for “voting with hope” by voting BC Green. A hopeful vision for British Columbians is needed for the remainder of this pandemic, she said. “The BC Greens will make sure every person has their basic needs met.” Among other things, the Greens will put in place the building blocks for a clean economic recovery. “The NDP were half successful” tonight, said Furstenau. “British Columbians were not willing to give a pass on climate change and old growth protection. They have their majority, but have returned Green MLAs to hold government accountable. We will get to work on the issues that matter.” She said: “This is going to be a difficult winter,” with reference to economics during the pandemic. She emphasized the resilience of the economy. A growing number of people are being left out of economic resilience in BC, she said. Clearly, Furstenau will be the ‘conscience’ of the legislature if she can hold to these stated views and principles.
Commentary rolling in:
Long-time NDP supporter Moe Sihota this evening said about Horgan’s re-election to the Premier’s post: “This guy will govern for all.”
Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke) posted on Twitter: “Congratulations to my friend Premier John Horgan, the South Island NDP team, & #NDP candidates across BC. BC recognizes when those they elect are actually working for them.”
Adrian Dix (re-elected in Vancouver-Kingsway) tweeted: “I want to express gratitude to my cabinet colleagues who did not run 4 re-election: @carolejames @clairetrevena @scottfraserndp @DarcyJudy @ShaneLSimpson @DonaldsonDoug @michellemungall, all of whom are extraordinary leaders who leave a legacy of accomplishment and generosity.
Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal Leader (on October 25) tweeted: “I’ve just got off the phone with @jjhorgan & congratulated him on his win. The people of B.C. have spoken & I want to thank every @bcliberals candidate & volunteer who helped make this campaign happen. / We’re still in the middle of a devastating pandemic and our focus remains making sure every person in our province is safe, healthy and able to get back on their feet. #bcpoli”