Michelle Stilwell’s supporters were heaping praise on their victorious candidate and their party’s leader Tuesday night as election results poured into Parksville.
After she thanked her campaign team, Stilwell also spoke about the confidence that’s been shown to her by the voters of Parksville Qualicum Beach.
“It’s so gratifying and I have so much gratitude for the people of this community who believed in me and what I can do for them,” she told The NEWS.
While the TV cameras showed an empty Vancouver hall where the NDP victory party was planned, local Liberals were waiting for Premier Christy Clark’s speech and talking about their new MLA.
“Michelle Stilwell is who she is when you meet here and she will be the same person five years from now,” said Mary Brouilette, a Qualicum Beach town councillor who volunteered with Stilwell’s campaign. “I think we are very lucky.”
“It’s a great night for Liberals,” said long-time local Liberal Keith Anderson. “I think she’s going to be a great MLA. She’s bright, concientious, hard-working, she has perserverence.”
Two-term Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon said the campaign was more about the party leaders Clark and the NDP’s Adrian Dix than it was local issues. “There’s no question in a campaign like this with two new leaders it became a choice between the two leaders,” said Cantelon, who stepped away from politics earlier this year, opening the door for Stilwell. “He (Dix) didn’t look like he had the royal jelly. He was wishy-washy and people saw through that. He had no clear vision.”