It looks like the incumbent candidates in Delta North and Delta South will be representing their respective communities in the B.C. Legislature for another four years.
With all 80 ballot boxes reported, BC NDP incumbent Ravi Kahlon is the preliminary winner with 8,486 votes (55.2 per cent of the popular vote) over BC Liberal Jet Sunner (5,356 votes) and Green Neema Manral (1,520 votes).
In Delta South, with all 92 ballot boxes reported, BC Liberal incumbent Ian Paton is the preliminary winner with 8,644 votes (52.4 per cent of the popular vote) over BC NDP candidate Bruce Reid (5,358 votes) and Green Peter van der Velden (2,487 votes).
(Check the maps at the bottom of this story to see up-to-date results.)
Overall, John Horgan and the B.C. NDP are set to form a majority government, based on election night results from 87 constituencies across the province.
It takes 44 seats for a majority, and the NDP were leading in 55 seats with most of the election-night results reported. The B.C. Liberals were elected or leading in 29 constituencies and the B.C. Green Party was ahead in three.
Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6, when an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots cast across B.C. due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are counted.
Elections BC reports 15,640 Delta-area residents have been issued mail-in ballots — just under 21 per cent of the 75,037 registered voters in the City of Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation.
In Delta North, 6,967 vote-by-mail packages have been issued. That’s just over 18 per cent of the 37,998 registered voters in the riding. In Delta South, 8,673 vote-by-mail packages have been issued — a bit over 23 per cent of the 37,039 registered voters in the riding.
Kahlon, who is set to enter his second term as MLA, said he is “very excited and very honoured” that voters have chosen him to represent Delta North for another four years.
“It’s been a lot of work but I’ve been proud of the things we were able to do in the community [to] make the community a better place, and that’s my commitment for the next four years,” Kahlon told the Reporter Saturday night.
Kahlon said the night held mixed emotions for him as his father passed away suddenly on Sept. 21, the day the election was called.
“Tonight is both a moment of happiness, but a moment of great sadness as well. I’m just reflecting on how proud he would be if he were here with us,” he said. “So it’s mixed emotions, but certainly I know that there were so many people that volunteered and made calls for me virtually since we couldn’t knock on doors, and I’m grateful for all the support and love that those people provided to help me.”
As he heads back to work as MLA for Delta North, Kahlon said his main focus — and that of his party — will be to continue to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and help make sure that people are safe.
Locally, Kalhon said, his priorities include securing more childcare spaces in the community and continuing to find ways to improve community amenities, adding he looks forward to working with Delta Mayor George Harvie and Delta MP Carla Qualtrough to finalize funding for the new Massey crossing.
“This is a time to take care of people, this is a time to make investments in seniors’ care, investments in health care, and support people as we go through this challenging time in the economy. And I think that message resonated, certainly with people in my community, and that’s reflected in the result [of the election],” he said.
First-time BC Liberal candidate Jet Sunner congratulated Kahlon on his win, saying he wishes him and NDP success as they work to manage the ongoing pandemic and get the province’s economy back on track.
“To me, what’s important is that the people of Delta North and British Columbia hopefully do well economically and [are safe],” Sunner told the Reporter Saturday night. “I wish the NDP a lot of success because I really care about the people and … hopefully they can help people get jobs, get the businesses back on track. We’ve lost 25 per cent of them in the province, or close to that. Those are scary things to me and hopefully we can work together with the people that we do elect to do those great things for our youth and our seniors, and get through this second wave of COVID as well.”
Sunner said the five-week campaign, his first for public office, was a steep learning curve, and thanked his family, campaign staff and volunteers for all their support.
“I’m so impressed with my campaign team, the volunteers and our family. We had about 100 people or so that really stepped up and so many of them were involved over and over, where they spent so many days of their time in those last five weeks or so making phone calls, heading outdoors with us, doing whatever it takes,” he said, adding he has lots of love for the people of North Delta.
“In five weeks I got a few thousand votes and that just shows me, man, some people really had faith in me. From being not that well known to someone that went out there and did some things and surprised people, I think I really learned the issues pretty quickly and put over 100 per cent into this, along with our team, our volunteers. I’ll never forget. There’s so many strangers, hundreds of them, that came to me and started helping out … it was amazing. I was really touched by how many people had faith in me. I’ll never forget that.”
— with files from Tom Fletcher
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