New Democratic Party incumbent Nicholas Simons had a commanding lead in the Powell River-Sunshine Coast polls late on the October 24 election day in BC.
With 100 of 100 polls counted, Simons had tallied 7,719 votes, for 48 per cent of the ballots cast.
In second place was Green Party candidate Kim Darwin, who had 5,541 votes, for 34.5 per cent of the total.
In third place was BC Liberal Party candidate Sandra Stoddart-Hansen, with 2,811 votes, for 17.5 per cent of the total.
With the 100 polls reported, a total of 16,071 votes were cast.
In the Powell River-Sunshine Coast constituency, there were 8,338 mail-in ballots, which will not be counted for at least 13 days after the general election.
Simons, in an interview with the Peak, said he was pleased with the electoral results on election night. Simons won the constituency in 2017 with 50.7 per cent of the vote, so in the 2020 general election, he was polling within three percentage points of his totals from the previous election.
This is the fifth election Simons has run in and the first that the NDP has formed a majority government.
“The first time I ran I think it was almost the opposite number so it’s nice to see, in my fifth term, that it’s a majority government,” said Simons. “I’m happy to see that and to be part of that.”
Simons said he thinks his party has shown to be good managers and good planners, and the election shows it.
“The people of British Columbia have agreed with that,” said Simons. “I think the results show that people want to see some stability. They like the way the priorities of our government are addressing the real issues facing families.
“I’m very pleased with that and I think we have hard work ahead of us but we’re up for the challenge.”
Simons said he’s ready to get right back to work in the BC Legislature, as the premier has stated.
While there are more than 8,000 mail-in ballots outstanding, Simons does not expect the results to change.
“I think that those numbers will obviously have to be counted but I don’t expect to see much change in terms of percentages,” said Simons.
In terms of focus for the next legislative session, Simons said he’d like to make sure that the issues that were raised, not just in the election but prior to that, in terms of getting infrastructure for alternative transportation, and making sure the ferries are running to meet the needs of coastal communities, are fulfilled. He also wants to make sure that the jobs in Powell River are protected and that there is as much diversification as possible. He said it’s important to ensure that the community is a good place where people can work and thrive.
“I think the Sunshine Coast has shown to be the kind of place where people enjoy the lifestyle and proximity to other amenities,” said Simons. “The secret’s out.”