B.C. Premier-elect John Horgan and returning Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, seen on the campaign trail together in Courtenay, Oct. 19. Photo by Riel McGuire

EDITORIAL: ‘Orange Wave’ blankets the Comox Valley

So, the election that nobody outside the NDP wanted is all over but the mail-in counting, so to speak.

And while the results will not be made official for a couple of weeks, it’s clear that John Horgan got what he wanted – a majority government.

What will this mean to B.C. residents?

Well, for one, we can all celebrate that there will not be another provincial election for another four years, and the next one will not catch anyone by surprise.

This election was, by all accounts, one of opportunity for Horgan and the NDP. And in fairness, he had every right to do exactly what he did.

Now Horgan has what he has always wanted – a solid “orange” house in Victoria, to push through his mandate with very little concern of backlash from the opposition.

How that will affect us in the Comox Valley is still to be determined, but we suspect there will be little change. We had NDP MLAs in our two constituencies last term, and that remains status quo, with the re-election of Ronna-Rae Leonard in Courtenay-Comox and NDP rookie Josie Osborne taking over for retiring NDPer Scott Fraser in Mid Island-Pacific Rim.

It’s always beneficial to have MLAs from the same party as the one governing the province. Those ridings tend to get privileged treatment.

While Osborne’s selection in the MIPR was not surprising – that riding has been “orange” for 11 of the past 12 legislative assemblies – Leonard’s apparent re-election raised a few more eyebrows. Not so much that she was re-elected, but more so the fashion in which she won.

While mail-in ballots still must be counted, Leonard holds a likely insurmountable 3,000-vote lead over Liberal candidate Brennan Day. In 2017, her Election Day lead was a paltry nine votes, and this time around, there wasn’t a Conservative candidate to split the right-wing vote. By all accounts, those votes were Liberals’ to lose… and for whatever reason, they lost them.

Whether it was because of the Liberals’ platform, or a testament to the NDP’s management of the province over the past three years is debatable, but one thing is certain: the “Orange Wave” has undoubtedly entrenched the Comox Valley.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020Editorials

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