Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, left, and local candidate Jeremy Valeriote, second left, listen to Jules Anderson, who said he was living in a homeless shelter, after a campaign stop in Squamish, B.C., on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. A judicial recount is coming for a race in the British Columbia election after mail-in ballots put the Liberals ahead by only 41 votes, in an upset to the Greens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, left, and local candidate Jeremy Valeriote, second left, listen to Jules Anderson, who said he was living in a homeless shelter, after a campaign stop in Squamish, B.C., on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. A judicial recount is coming for a race in the British Columbia election after mail-in ballots put the Liberals ahead by only 41 votes, in an upset to the Greens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Judicial recount coming in B.C. seat where Liberals upset Greens by 41 votes

Seat would have been the Greens’ first off Vancouver Island

A judicial recount is coming for a race in the British Columbia election after mail-in ballots put the Liberals ahead by only 41 votes in an upset to the Greens.

Elections BC says the final ballot count in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky gave Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy 9,216 votes, ahead of Green Jeremy Valeriote’s 9,175.

Under the Election Act, a judicial recount must take place if the difference between the top two candidates is less than 1/500 of the total ballots considered at final count.

In West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, where the Green party had hoped to pick up its third seat, Elections BC says that threshold is 49.

Elections BC began counting about 660,000 mail-in and absentee ballots on Friday, 13 days after the Oct. 24 provincial election.

Sturdy’s win gives the NDP 55 seats, the B.C. Liberals 28 and the Greens two, with two other ridings still undecided as the ballot counting continues into Sunday.

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said in a statement the party will await the official recount result.

“Jeremy Valeriote is an excellent candidate and the close results in his riding show that the people of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky are hoping for a more sustainable and equitable future for their community,” Furstenau said.

“Every election, more and more voters have chosen to vote Green — that is cause for celebration and we will continue to work with the community to come out strong next time.”

READ MORE: Mail-in ballots could shift outcomes in tight B.C. election contests

Final results on Saturday also confirmed the victory of NDP candidate Kelli Paddon in Chilliwack-Kent over incumbent Laurie Throness.

Throness started the campaign as a Liberal candidate but quit to run as an Independent after causing an uproar comparing free contraception programs to eugenics at an all-candidates meeting.

Paddon took the seat by 1,304 votes.

Throness said in a tweet he called Paddon to congratulate her on her win and said his time in office was “an enormous privilege.”

“It has been my life’s joy to serve the riding of Chilliwack-Kent for 7.5 years,” the tweet says.

In Abbotsford-Mission, the New Democrats also took away what had been considered a safe Liberal seat.

The Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson had been winning in the riding when the ballot count was finished on election night two weeks ago.

However, New Democrat Pam Alexis finished with 10,364 votes to Gibson’s 9,620.

Alexis, who took a leave of absence as Mission’s mayor to run, thanked her volunteers and Gibson for his years of service in a statement on Twitter.

Liberal candidates have been elected in Abbotsford-Mission with more than 50 per cent of the votes since the riding was created for the 2009 election.

The counting continues in Richmond South Centre and Vernon-Monashee, the two remaining ridings that were too close to call on election night.

Elections BC spokesman Andrew Watson has said the agency hopes to complete the count in all ridings by Sunday but conceded that may not be feasible.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC GreenBC LiberalsBC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Phyllis Stenson, a mainstay of the local arts scene and the Harrison Festival of the Arts, passed away earlier this month. Stenson was crucial in setting up the foundation for relationships, funding and more that continue even now to echo well past her retirement in 2013. (Contributed Photo/Harrison Festival Society)
Harrison Festival, Fraser Valley arts icon Phyllis Stenson mourned

Stenson passed away in late November, leaving lasting legacy of passion for the arts behind

Construction is expected to start in March of 2021 on 23 new rental homes funded by the provincial government’s Community Housing Fund. (Metro Creative photo)
Province announces rental home project in Chilliwack paid for by Community Housing Fund

Twenty three homes for Indigenous families are planned in partnership with Tzeachten First Nation

Canadian Red Cross staff engaged in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing training exercise. (Luc Alary / Canadian Red Cross)
Red Cross canvassers following PHO guidelines while going door-to-door

Canvassers using safety protocols including masks and distancing to continue organization’s efforts

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl, pictured here in 2017, has harsh words about the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says Liberal government is leaving millions of Canadians behind

Strahl delivered a blistering critique of the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Most Read