NDP incumbent MLA Katrine Conroy has been re-elected in Kootenay West with a strong result.
Commenting on the win from the Portuguese Social Club, where she held her election night results party, Conroy said:
“[I’m] thrilled, happy and just totally ecstatic. The people have sent a really clear message and I had amazing volunteers and amazing people working on my campaign and throughout the entire constituency. And I’m just so grateful to all of them who came and helped me and helped us all win this seat, because it’s really humbling, very humbling.”
With all 79 of 79 polls reported, Conroy finished with 10,499 votes, Liberal Jim Postnikoff came in second with 4,321 votes and the Green Party’s Sam Troy finished third with 2,791.
The Canadian Press made the call after only 14 of 79 polls reported.
Conroy also thanked her fellow candidates.
“I want to thank my two candidates that ran against me,” she said. “They both ran good campaigns.”
The three candidates participated in nine debates together, including one at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar.
Asked what she was looking forward to accomplishing now that’s been re-elected, Conroy said, “We need to get jobs in the Kootenays and we need to ensure that we have proper sources of fiber for our mills. We need to make sure that we have health care here at home, like the proper health care. So there are a lot of things. We need to make sure that we have the education that we need here for our kids, post-secondary. I mean we have incredible facilities here as far as Selkirk College goes.”
By the time the final holdouts at the Portuguese Social Club called it a night, it was still unclear what the final results of the election were, but the Liberals were counting 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three.
Asked what she thought of the possibility of a Liberal minority government, Conroy said, “It’ll depend what the Greens end up doing and I think the majority of the Greens would tend to side with NDP values, but who knows what’s going to happen and we’ll know if the next few days.”
As of this writing, results have not changed, and the Liberals had a minority government with 43 seats.
In Kootenay West, the number of advance voters rose 252 per cent, to 8,899 this election from 2,528 in 2013. There were 17,440 total votes cast in the riding.
Conroy has been an MLA since 2005 and this is her fourth-consecutive election to office.
She served as MLA for West Kootenay-Boundary from May 2005 until the election boundaries were redrawn, and was first elected as MLA for Kootenay West in 2009 and was re-elected in 2013 and now in 2017.
In her previous term, she served as opposition spokesperson for Interior Economic Development, Columbia Power and Columbia River Treaty.
Her husband, Ed Conroy, served as MLA for Rossland-Trail from 1991 to 2001, and was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Minister Responsible for Rural Development on Nov. 1, 2000.
Total advance voting turnout in B.C. was 614,389, up 67.6 per cent from 366,558 in 2013.