Elenore Sturko retains Surrey South seat for B.C. Liberals in byelection

·3 min read
Elenore Sturko, a well-known Surrey RCMP sergeant and media spokesperson is on leave from the force as she heads to the B.C. Legislature. (B.C. Liberals - image credit)
Elenore Sturko, a well-known Surrey RCMP sergeant and media spokesperson is on leave from the force as she heads to the B.C. Legislature. (B.C. Liberals - image credit)

A well-known RCMP sergeant and spokesperson has retained a seat in the B.C. Legislature for the B.C. Liberal Party.

On Saturday Elenore Sturko won the Surrey South byelection over the B.C. NDP's Pauline Greaves with 52 per cent of the vote.

Sturko received 5,568 of the 10,742 votes cast.

The Surrey RCMP sergeant who is currently on leave says she wants to bring her policing experience to the B.C. Liberal caucus.

"I've had a lot of first-hand experience dealing with crime in Surrey and I've had the opportunity to be with families who are struggling with people who are at this moment dealing with addictions."

The NDP's Pauline Greaves came second with 3,221 votes.

In 2020 Greaves, a teacher at the Langara school of management, lost the riding to the B.C. Liberal's Stephanie Cadieux who won the riding by 1,176 more votes.

Cadieux stepped down in April to take a position with the federal government as the country's first chief accessibility officer.

B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon welcomed Sturko to his caucus in a message posted on social media.

Major issues for the byelection included health care, the cost of living and the future of the Massey Tunnel.

Sturko says health care was the top concern for residents while business owners are worried about transit issues and labour shortages in the community where she's had a first-hand glimpse at issues related to the overdose crisis.

"A lot of times I've been into people's homes, spoken to people who are suffering from addiction and the family and loved ones of other people struggling and even those who lost loved ones,'' she said after claiming victory on Saturday.

Sturko said the NDP's promise to build a second hospital in Surrey in the Cloverdale area next year is "inadequate'' due to the lack of a maternity ward in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

Greaves, who has lived in the South Surrey area for more than 30 years, has said the former Liberal government broke a promise and sold the land for what would have been another hospital in Surrey.

The NDP government announced earlier this year it would build the hospital for $1.72 billion.

"While we did not win this byelection, we still need to make sure that Kevin Falcon does not have a chance to stop the new Surrey hospital in Cloverdale and cancel the toll-free Massey Tunnel replacement," Greaves said in a statement following her loss.

Other candidates

Harman Bhangu, who owns a trucking company, came third as the B.C. Conservative Party candidate with 1,364 votes, while Simon Fraser University student Simran Sarai, who ran for the B.C. Green Party, came fourth with 368 votes.

Jason Bax who represented the Libertarian Party received 221 votes.

With Sturko's win for the B.C. Liberals, the party has 27 seats in the legislature. The B.C. NDP has 57, while the B.C. Green Party has two. There is one independent.

Although preliminary results from an initial count have been released, the final results won't be announced until Sept. 14.