***Update – On June 7, 2013, Christy Clark announced the new Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services minister will be Andrew Wilkinson, the Vancouver-Quilchena MLA.***
With the final count concluded this afternoon, the results for Vancouver-Quilchena in the BC provincial elections 2013 are as follows:
-Andrew Wilkinson / BC Liberals: 14,496 votes, 64.32%
-Nicholas Scapillati / BC NDP: 5,705 votes, 25.31%
-Damian Kettlewell / BC Green Party: 1,667 votes, 7.40%
-Bill Clarke / BC Conservatives: 671 votes, 2.98%
22,539 people out of 37,501 registered voters went to the polls in Quilchena, which corresponds to a turnout of 60.1 %.
The turnout in B.C. is estimated to be 57.8 %.
Vancouver-Quilchena’s voting results in 2009 were 70.22% Liberals (Colin Hansen), 9.04% Green Party (Laura-Leah Shaw) and 20.74% NDP (James Young). The voter turnout in Quilchena was 57.67%, higher than the average provincial turnout of 50.99%.
Quilchena still Liberal stronghold
Quilchena’s new MLA Andrew Wilkinson did not provide a current statement, but he spoke with Global BC’s Jas Johal during the election night of May 14/15.
“There was a lot of naysaying going on in the last few weeks before the election and lo and behold, we’ve got what the people have decided, which is a Liberal majority government,” he said. “Polls are just a fairly crude measure of public sentiment and the real measure in a democracy is election. And I guess this is a good example of why we have elections, so that the genuine public sentiment can be stated.”
BC NDP on the rise in Quilchena
Nicholas Scapillati said he was very happy with the results of over 25 per cent of the popular vote, considering it was a difficult riding to win in.
“We had the most votes that a New Democrat has received in that riding for over 20 years, he said. “I was really proud that we ran an office in Kerrisdale. We met a lot of people on the street and I think that based on the numbers, there is real movement [for the NDP].”
His main challenge? The public debates, in which he had to perform against seasoned politicians.
All in all, the political episode was a positive experience for Scapillati. “I hope to be a candidate again somewhere, some day,” he said. Until then, he will return to his regular job.
“People don’t realize that all candidates, other than existing MLA’s, are volunteers,” he said. “All of us either took a break or leaves or gathered our vacation time from our jobs and be part of something that we thought was important in the community. So now I am no longer a volunteer and I am back at my job [as executive director] at Farm Folk City Folk.
Damian Kettlewell ecstatic about first Green MLA
“If we didn’t have Andrew [Weaver] in the house, I think I would be more concerned . . . Maybe those folks that are being born today will be the ones that will evoke change in the future and allow for us to have a Green MLA in Quilchena one day,” Kettlewell said.
Kettlewell will focuson his young family in the summer, and is optimistic about B.C.’s environmental future.
“The people of B.C. have a strong history of activism in the community and the people of B.C. and Vancouver will not allow for environmental destruction,” he said, adding he would be surprised if the additional Kinder Morgan pipeline were to happen.
Bittersweet goodbye for team Bill Clarke
Rick Peterson, Vancouver campaign manager for Bill Clarke, congratulated the BC Liberals on their victory in his May 15 press release, but didn’t hide his disappointment.
“Our whole team is disappointed that we didn’t win. Very much so. It was no fun watching the results come in last night – at all. We were in this to win, and worked our butts off. And we came up short. And that sucks.”
Bill Clarke ended the election night with a hand-written thank-you note to each and every campaign helper.
Reported by Katja De Bock