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Kelowna  

BC Liberals easily capture all 3 Kelowna ridings

Liberals take Kelowna easily

While the NDP stormed to a majority government, they never had a chance in Kelowna. 

The ridings of Kelowna-Mission, Kelowna-West and Kelowna-Lake Country — considered some of the safest Liberal seats in B.C. — were among the first seats to be declared elected Saturday night.

“It is incredible, the support that we’ve received in the riding over the last 12 or so years,” said Norm Letnick, shortly after capturing his fourth term in Kelowna-Lake Country. 

While more than 10,000 mail-in ballots still need to be counted in the riding, Letnick had more than 55 per cent of the vote as the last of the general voting day results rolled in.

“I’m just so thankful to the people of Kelowna-Lake Country for allowing me to have this privilege to be their voice in Victoria,” Letnick added.

Renee Merrifield, political newcomer and founder of Troika Development, captured Kelowna-Mission with ease with 52 per cent of the vote as the night closed. 

She told Castanet Saturday night she was “elated, exhausted and absolutely excited” with the results.

She takes over from retiring Liberal MLA Steve Thomson.

"I hope to make Steve Thomson proud and carry on his legacy. He is an absolutely amazing, extraordinary human being and MLA," she added.

The final Kelowna seat to be declared Saturday night was in Kelowna West, where NDP candidate Spring Hawes gave Liberal incumbent Ben Stewart a run in early results, but Stewart’s lead grew gradually over the night into an insurmountable one.

"Well of course I was hoping for a totally different result,” Stewart said, referring to the NDP majority provincially. 

“I'm looking forward to the new session whenever it’s going to start, likely in February like it usually does, and there will be a new set of people at the cabinet table and I'll look forward to holding them to account,” he added.

While all media have declared an NDP majority, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson did not concede Saturday night, declaring “everyone's voice needs to be heard.”

“As the results stand tonight, the NDP are clearly ahead and it appears they will have the opportunity to form government. But with almost half a million mail-in ballots still to be counted, we don't know what the final seat count will be and we owe it to every voter, every voter no matter how they express their intention, to await the final results,” he said.

BC NDP leader John Horgan had a more celebratory tone when he spoke to supporters. 

“One thing we know for certain is that on Monday I'll be going back to work and we're going to be putting people, businesses and others who are focused on getting through the pandemic at the front of everything that we do,” Horgan said, while thanking Andrew Wilkinson and Sonia Fursteneau for a “spirited campaign.”



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