From left: BC NDP candidate Adam Walker; BC Liberal Party candidate Michelle Stilwell. (Submitted/file)

From left: BC NDP candidate Adam Walker; BC Liberal Party candidate Michelle Stilwell. (Submitted/file)

B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates wait for mail-in ballot count

NDP’s Adam Walker has lead over B.C. Liberal Party’s Michelle Stilwell

Hurry up and wait.

Voters in the Parksville-Qualicum must now wait to find out the official winner in their riding, following Saturday’s provincial election.

Results will not be formally confirmed until after mail-in ballots are tabulated, sometime after Nov. 6.

B.C. NDP candidate Adam Walker is the front-runner after day-of and advanced ballots were counted.

With 116 of 116 polls reporting, Walker has 7,308 votes (39.78 per cent), ahead of the 6,366 (34.65 per cent) for second-place Michelle Stilwell of the BC Liberal Party. Rob Lyon of the BC Green Party is in third place with 3,319 votes (18.07 per cent), followed by Don Purdy (Conservatives) with 999 (5.44 per cent) and Independent canditate John St John with 378 (2.06 per cent).

Both of the top two vote-getters acknowledged the waiting period. In the Parksville-Qualicum riding, 14,273 vote-by-mail packages were issued.

“While the results are looking very positive for me so far, democracy will take just a little longer here in this riding,” said Walker. “I feel very strongly that every vote matters, and that every vote must be counted properly. Many people chose the option of the mail-in ballot in this election and I think everyone deserves to have their voice heard. I look forward to seeing the final results in a couple of weeks.”

Stilwell said “it’s early and we will wait for [the outstanding ballots] to be counted to see what the people will say.”

“I certainly believe that my people vote in Parksville-Qualicum,” she said. “They take democracy very seriously, and I trust that the vote will come out and the people will say what they want and what they believe. I work hard for this community and I hope they’ll give me that confidence and we’ll wait maybe two weeks to get that decision.”

READ MORE: NDP’s Josie Osborne declared the winner in Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding

READ MORE: MAP: Provincial election results, riding by riding

READ MORE: VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

READ MORE: UPDATE: NDP’s Adam Walker the front-runner in Parksville-Qualicum

Both also thanked their supporters ahead of the coming wait.

“It is a tremendous honour to have spent the past few weeks speaking with the people of Parksville-Qualicum about their vision and hope for the future, especially as we all navigate through this challenging time,” said Walker. “I want to thank the people working at Elections BC for the incredible job they have done running a safe and accessible election during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to the other candidates for also putting your names forward; your participation makes our democracy stronger and healthier. I want to thank the volunteers who helped with my campaign. I could not have done this without you. And to my family and friends, thank you for your support and for embarking on this adventure with me.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that while we are awaiting the final results in Parksville-Qualicum, it seems pretty clear that British Columbians have chosen to continue with the incredible leadership John Horgan has already shown through the COVID-19 pandemic. John put forward a vision to get us through this challenging time, together, and build a better B.C. for everyone. I am proud and honoured to be part of his team.”

Stilwell said: “I certainly think I had a great campaign team, lots of volunteers. I had new volunteers coming. I had new people coming in supporting and donating. We ran a solid social media campaign. I had my campaign bus. I was out in communities.”

She noted: “I do believe that the B.C. Liberals put out a very bold plan that would rebuild B.C. and restore that confidence that we need coming outside of the pandemic. There are still many, many, many ballots to be counted.”

Horgan said he will wait for the final count before recalling the B.C. Legislature to get back to work in Victoria.

— NEWS Staff

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