Northern Liberal MLA Shirley Bond wins her sixth term

·3 min read

Prince George-Valemount Liberal Shirley Bond continued her winning streak for a sixth term calling the time ahead a chance for her party to renew and rebuild.

“From every difficult situation comes opportunity,” said Bond, calling the time ahead a chance for the Liberal Party to renew and rebuild.

By Oct. 26, Bond had a more than 4,000 vote lead on NDP candidate Laura Parent, who won nearly 26 per cent of the vote.

“I loved every minute of it,” said Parent. “Even though I'm not elected, I still have the ability to influence things and to use my voice – getting people's voices heard and getting messages across is the ultimate goal.”

Twenty-three year-old Kerr was inspired by all the people who reached out to her on social media, she said.

"People were sending me messages every morning saying, 'I've never voted green, but I'm doing it this time.'" Kerr said. "That was probably my favorite part, connecting with people that were supporting me and so passionate about creating change up here in the North."

Mackenzie Kerr of the BC Greens picked up almost 15 per cent and Sean Robson of the BC Libertarian garnered almost 3 per cent.

Robson could not be reached for comment.

“I'm thankful that people have faith in me to represent them one more time,” said Bond, cautioning, “There are a lot of ballots yet to be counted (and) I'm very respectful that people want to have their ballots counted and see the final outcome.”

In the Prince George-Valemount riding, 4,563 of the 36,700 registered voters were issued vote-by-mail packages. In 2017, 34 people mailed in their ballots.

In B.C. as of Oct. 24, about 525,000 of 724, 279 mail-in votes were received by Elections BC.

A final count will be done 13 days.

Mail-in ballots could alter a handful of ridings –two Liberals and two NDP led by less than 200 votes as of Oct. 26 – but the mail-ins will not change that the NDP won a majority government.

By Oct. 26, the NDP had won 55 seats, up from 41; the Liberals dropped from 41 seats to 29, and the Greens held steady at three.

While the BC Greens didn’t expand their caucus, Leader Sonia Furstenau was credited with increasing the party’s share of the popular vote.

“I take your trust and faith in me and our party very seriously, and I promise to serve you dutifully every day in the legislature,” Furstenau said on election night.

As of Oct. 24, 52 per cent of B.C.’s nearly 3.5 million registered voters cast ballots, down from 62 per cent in 2017.

As of Oct. 26, Bond had garnered more than 56 per cent of votes cast in her riding.

A handful of candidates across the province won by more than 60 per cent in their ridings, including NDP Leader John Horgan, former NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix ,and several other former NDP Cabinet Ministers.

“It has been an honor and a privilege for the past three and a half years to serve British Columbians,” NDP Leader and Premier John Horgan said on election night. “I commit to all British Columbians for the next four years, I will do my level best to make sure your lives are better.”

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson didn’t wait for all the votes to be tallied before he announced his departure from the political fray.

“It’s time for me to make room for someone else to take over this role.” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson will remain interim leader until the party chooses a successor.

“From every difficult situation comes opportunity,” said Bond. “I’m excited about who may come forward, but I can assure you, it won't be me.”

Fran Yanor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Rocky Mountain Goat