Gord Johns addressing his supporters in Parksville after being re-elected in Courtenay-Alberni on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. - Cloe Logan photo

ELECTION 2019: NDP’s Gord Johns re-elected in Courtenay-Alberni

Conservative Byron Horner finishes second, with Green Party’s Sean Wood third

Gord Johns has retained his seat as the Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni.

With 264 of 265 polls reported just before midnight, the New Democratic Party candidate was comfortably re-elected in Monday’s federal election.

Johns had 29,407 votes (41.3 per cent), ahead of Conservative Byron Horner with 23,516 votes (33 per cent), the Green Party’s Sean Wood at 9,569 (13.4 per cent), Liberal Jonah Gowans 8,513 (12.0 per cent), and Marxist-Leninist Party candidate Barbara Biley with 168 votes (0.2 per cent).

Johns addressed a crowd of staff, volunteers and supporters during his post-election celebration at the Beach Club Resort in Parksville. “It’s a huge privilege and honour to be sent back to Ottawa to continue to fight for our coast and improve the lives of people in our communities. And we’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Johns in an exclusive interview with The NEWS after his speech.

“I’m so grateful to the support from people of all ages, as you can see, from people from far and wide throughout our riding. The amount of support – it’s beyond humbling. It’s been a bit overwhelming to be honest with you.”

Asked about the possibility of the NDP supporting a Liberal minority government, Johns said it’s too early to say for sure, but he’s hopeful.

“Tonight, I haven’t even looked that far. Our goal from the outset was to make sure that people from the environment had a seat at the table in the next government,” said Johns.

“Tomorrow we’ll start having those conversations about what that’s going to look like, but I’m confident we’re going to make sure that’s exactly what happens, instead of just another majority government that’s tailored to support the privileged and the well-connected.”

He also specifically mentioned the support he received throughout the campaign from the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.

“I hold that support carefully, and with great respect,” said Johns.

“For them to give me a name throughout this campaign, and to give me the strength to get through it, I feel forever indebted to them, and I’ll be ensuring their message is carried to Ottawa, absolutely.”

Horner spent the evening at his campaign office in Parksville. His campaign manager David Bakker was on hand to deliver a statement.

“We worked very hard, and though we’re not happy with the results, we respect what the people decided, and what they voted for. Our volunteers worked very hard, and that’s just how it goes,” said Bakker.

“We worked very hard to spread our positive Conservative message, and knocked on a lot of doors and had a lot of conversations with tens of thousands of people in the riding of Courtenay-Alberni.”

READ MORE: Student Votes elects Liberal minority

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Wood spent the evening at the Errington Hall with his supporters.

“I’ve already called Gord Johns to congratulate him,” said Wood. “He ran a great campaign. He’s a well-liked incumbent, and he was a tough guy to run against. All our volunteers did a great job on my side of things, and we’re proud of our run at it. We look forward to Gord representing us really well in the next four years.

“We ran the strongest campaign we could. Of course we’re an up-and-coming party, so we don’t have all the resources that a couple of the other parties have. But we have a team of volunteers that just worked their butts off. It was just amazing to see the work that our team of volunteers could do. And so I’m very thankful for all of their hard work on the campaign.”

Results for Courtenay-Alberni can be found here. Results nationwide can be found here and results from the previous federal election can be found here.

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NDP supporters gather at the Beach Club in Parksville, awaiting the results of the 2019 federal election in Courtenay-Alberni. (Cloe Logan photo)

Green Party of Canada Courtenay-Alberni candidate Sean Woods waits for election results In Errington. (Photo courtesy of Green Party of Canada)

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