Stilwell elected in Parksville Qualicum

Liberals win fourth majority government; NDP's Fraser wins Alberni-Pacific Rim

PASSING THE TORCH OF VICTORY: B.C. Liberal Michelle Stilwell accepts congratulations from former B.C. Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon after Stilwell won the Parksville Qualicum Beach constituency Tuesday night.

PASSING THE TORCH OF VICTORY: B.C. Liberal Michelle Stilwell accepts congratulations from former B.C. Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon after Stilwell won the Parksville Qualicum Beach constituency Tuesday night.

MLA-elect Michelle Stilwell said she knows what the people of Parksville Qualicum Beach were telling her when they overwhelmingly chose her Tuesday night to be their representative in Victoria.

Stilwell, an international Paralympics track star, won the constituency with 13,405 votes, more than 3,500 votes ahead of her closest competitor, former Qualicum Beach town councillor Barry Avis of the NDP. B.C. Conservative candidate David Coupland was third with 3,451 votes.

After her victory speech at 10 p.m. Tuesday in front of 100 happy Liberals at her Parksville campaign headquarters, Stilwell was asked what message she thought voters gave her when they sent her to Victoria with such a decisive victory.

“I believe it’s a clear message that the economy is what’s important,” Stilwell said between hugs with supporters. “We need a solid economy in order to provide the services and programs that we all depend on — that’s how the revenue is generated.”

Stilwell was asked if she could compare the campaign to the rigours of elite athletics. “You put a plan into place and you try to execute the plan the best you can, like in any Olympic race, and that’s exactly what I did in this campaign.”

Provincially, the B.C. Liberals won a majority government, a shock to many who read recent polls which had the NDP up by as many as nine percentage points.

Stilwell said her first priority as MLA is to “get to know all those amazing people who were elected today and start working with open communication and a clear vision for this province.”

After the results became clear Tuesday night, Avis said he was at a loss to explain what had just transpired.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Avis.

“We spoke to the key issues. We ran in my mind — not just here in this constituency, but province wide — a very positive campaign and tried to speak to the issues.”

Coupland certainly didn’t endorse the decision of voters. “The people of B.C. aren’t ready for better government yet,” said the B.C. Conservative candidate who has been mentioned in discussions related to the leadership of his party. “People are just going from bad government to bad government.”

Former Parksville Qualicum Beach B.C. Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon, who retired from provincial politics this year after serving two terms as this region’s representative to Victoria, said he was pleased with the big victories by both Stilwell and his party.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Cantelon. “Michelle speaks from the heart and she will represent from the heart.”

Cantelon was also asked what message he believed the people of Parksville Qualicum Beach conveyed Tuesday night.

“They said we have a rising star and they do have a rising star in Michelle Stilwell,” said Cantelon.

 

 

Just Posted

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read