Voters in the Cariboo-Chilcotin constituency made their choice clear in the May 14 provincial election, as B.C. Liberal MLA Donna Barnett held on to her seat with a clear victory.
Barnett took 56.44 per cent of the votes (6,952) over NDP candidate Charlie Wyse’s 34.53 per cent (4,253), trailed by Green Party of BC’s Dustin Price at 5.33 per cent (657) and Independent candidate Gary Young with 3.69 per cent (455).
With the B.C. Liberals winning the election for another majority government, Barnett says she is looking forward to a positive government where “no is not acceptable.”
“We, as a province, have tried to work together to move forward to create the jobs that are needed, and particularly in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
“One of the most important parts of environment is people. We talk about child poverty – it’s not child poverty, it’s parent poverty, and
the only way we’re going to get out of this is with jobs.”
She adds it is also about taking care of our neighbours – not just ourselves.
“I’d like to thank all the voters for the mandate they have given me, and thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard on my campaign.”
The local MLA successfully widened the margin seen in 2009 when Barnett and Wyse were neck-and-neck during the election, which she won only after a recount and by less than one percentage point.
Since then, Barnett’s reputation for a loud and clear voice in legislature has been attested to by Premier Christy Clark and various provincial ministers, particularly for issues affecting her riding.
“My door is always open.”
Wyse says he congratulates Barnett on her victory, recognizes Price and Young for a willingness to serve the people, and thanks voters for going out to the polls.
“I thank my team, and I’d like to recognize and acknowledge all the campaign workers [who] were involved in the election process for all the candidates.”
He won’t confirm his future candidacy, but explains after about 40 years in politics, his rule is “never say no.”
“The first thing [my wife] Sheila and I are going to do is take a holiday … and then we’ll look at how things are further down the road.”
Young says the “unfortunate” results fall to an old quote that “bad government is elected by those good people who do not vote.”
“I’m very, very disappointed because again in British Columbia politics we have proven beyond a doubt that lies, smears, fear and corporate donations and favours have again given us this government.”
The thousands of voters in the riding who didn’t vote for him don’t want change, the Independent claims.
“Those are the people who don’t read, don’t listen and are uninformed.”
Price says he was pleased he reached his goal to raise awareness and “get more Green votes,” and he’ll run again in four years if that opportunity exists.
“I will remain a Green party supporter; it’s where my beliefs are.”
The 28-year-old adds he hopes to have led by example in inspiring some younger voters to get more involved.
“I wish Donna [Barnett] luck, and I want to thank all the other candidates for making me feel welcome.”