The election tally isn’t final yet, but it does seem certain that Dan Coulter will be the next MLA for Chilliwack.
Still, he says, he’s not celebrating yet.
“It’s still unofficial,” he told The Progress Monday. “It’s important for British Columbians’ votes to be counted and we need to let them be counted.”
Coulter is already a local elected official, in his third term at the Chilliwack School Board. He is currently board chair, as well. That has caused some speculation about whether he would resign from the board right away, stay on for some time, or even attempt to do both jobs.
But Coulter has confirmed that, as he said during his campaign, he won’t do both jobs if elected as MLA.
“It’s a little early” to be speculating, he added. But if the numbers hold and he does win the riding, he plans to resign fairly quickly.
“I’m going to wait for all the ballots to be counted and for it to be official,” he said. “But during the campaign I obviously said I would step down from the school, and I will be stepping down.”
Coulter earned his seat on the school board the first time around through a byelection in 2013. That was triggered by the resignation of then-trustee Louise Piper. Coulter was reelected in 2014, and again in 2018. The next school board election will take place in two years.
Section 36 of the school act spells out the process for filling board vacancies, and orders boards to either appoint a chief election officer within 30 days, or notify the municipal council to do the same.
The election day must be set for no later than 80 days after the appointment of that officer. If no by-election is held, the minister of education can fill appoint a trustee.
Coulter is being widely considered the preliminary winner of the Chilliwack riding,with 4,575 votes cast (38.39 per cent) compared to BC Liberal John Martin with 3,511 (29.46 per cent), followed by Diane Janzen’s 2,189 (18.37 per cent). Green candidate Tim Cooper had 10.86 per cent or 1,294 votes, with Independent Josue Anderson earning 205 votes over Libertarian Andrew Coombes and his 144.
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