B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates victory, thanks rivals for 'spirited' campaign

Horgan celebrates victory

John Horgan says there are still hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots yet to be counted following Saturday's election, but one thing is certain: he's headed back to the premier's office on Monday.

The NDP leader took the risk of calling the snap election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to gain a majority government after working with the Greens in a minority for the last 3 1/2 years.

The final results of the election won't be known until at least Nov. 16, after Elections BC staff have screened and counted an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots.

But Saturday's ballots were enough for the NDP to clinch a strong majority government as their candidates were elected or led in 55 of 87 ridings, compared with the Liberals' 29 and the Green party's three.

The New Democrats campaigned hard on health care, including a pledge to spend $44 million on hiring and training 7,000 new front-line workers for assisted-living and long-term care homes.

The party's platform also included a promise to provide one-time pandemic-relief payments to families and single people as well as a rent freeze until the end of next year.

Horgan says he will remain focused on pandemic recovery efforts while waiting for the remaining ballots to be counted.

“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," said Horgan during a victory speech in a room that was largely empty due as a result of pandemic restrictions.

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