An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IT’S ALL OVER but the final counting.
It will be a couple of weeks until the mail-in ballots are counted but it won’t matter much. Ridings like Kamloops-North Thompson and Fraser-Nicola are close but not close enough to change after the mail-ins are counted, since all polling stations and voting methods typically follow the same trends.
There are lots of ridings with only a thousand-vote difference between first and second but only a handful where the margin is around a hundred.
As a result, a couple of ridings might flip but John Horgan’s cynical election call has worked out for him. He’s a hero right now within his party, a tactical genius.
Andrew Wilkinson, on the other hand, will likely be tendering his resignation as BC Liberal leader in the next short while.
Where does this leave our local ridings, represented by Liberals Todd Stone and Peter Milobar for the next four years in the face of a comfortable NDP majority and a premier who can now do pretty much any darn thing he wants now that he has a majority?
What about all those Liberal promises for our area? Funding for Car 40. More investment in the Trans Canada Highway east of Kamloops. Capital funding for elementary school construction. Improvements to seniors’ health care. Will we still get a new cancer treatment centre?
Milobar and Stone — and congratulations to them — can continue to advocate for these things, of course, but Horgan can ignore them if he wishes. A positive in the NDP victory is that I’m not sure how the Liberals would have handled the Ajax file.
And here’s something to watch for. When Wilkinson steps down, will Stone step up? Having the BC Liberal leader in Kamloops could give us back a little of the clout lost by having non-government MLAs.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.