Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

B.C. VOTES 2020: NDP takes Vernon-Monashee for the first time since the 1980s

Vernon’s Harwinder Sandhu of the NDP unseats three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster

For Harwinder Sandhu’s daughter’s birthday, the best gift came after lunch.

Sandhu, running for the NDP, was officially elected as Vernon-Monashee MLA Sunday, Nov. 8, after mail-in and absentee ballots were counted over two-and-a-half days.

The Vernon nurse garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who collected 9,798 votes, a difference of 424 votes. Sandhu becomes the first NDP candidate to win the riding since the 1980s. She had trailed Foster by 182 votes at the end of election night, Oct. 24.

The result came on her daughter Jasreen’s 14th birthday.

“This has been a week of mixed emotions because Nov. 6 was the 10th anniversary of my first husband’s death, Jasreen turned four just two days after it, but to win on her birthday, she said that was the biggest gift of all,” said Sandhu from her home. She was so busy accepting congratulations that she missed a call to her cell phone from NDP Premier John Horgan.

Her first call of congratulations came from a gracious Foster.

“We had a great talk,” said Sandhu. “I thanked him for his years of service. I want to work with him to get this feedback and he’s got so much experience. He gave me some advice about how hard the job can be for people with young families.”

Working in the healthcare profession, she said, will prepare her for her new role in Victoria.

“In healthcare, you walk into the unpredictable every day,” said Sandhu. “You hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to making Vernon-Monashee proud for everybody, not just those who voted for me.”

Horgan phoned Sandhu election night and got an earful about issues in the riding.

“He said how proud he was of our team and how the voting showed that people could see potential in us. We had a great conversation,” said Sandhu.

Foster was upbeat but understandably disappointed when contacted after the result.

“I’m OK,” he said. “It’s always unfortunate when you don’t cross the finish line in first place. But Harwinder did a great job and she’ll do a great job in Victoria. I wish her nothing but the best. It will be an exciting next four years.”

Asked about his future, Foster said he will go to Victoria and clean out his office and apartment, then return to his home in Lumby that he shares with his wife, Janice.

“I’ll sit down and put my feet up for a bit but we are going to be involved in the community,” he said. “We’re not going to hide in our backyard.”

Green Party candidate Keli Westgate finished third in the riding with 4,464 votes while Conservative Kyle Delfing was fourth with 3,472 votes.

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES 2020: The latest results as mail-in ballot counts continue



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Vernon nurse Harwinder Sandhu has been elected as MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

In a stunning upset, Sandhu garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who finished with 9,798 votes. It’s the first time the riding has elected an NDP member to the Legislature in Victoria since the 1980s.

Foster had a 182 vote lead at the end of election night Saturday, Oct. 24, with mail-in and absentee ballots still to be counted.

Those votes were checked over the past three days.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The new council for Hupacasath First Nation. From left to right: Councillor Ricky-Lee Watts, Chief Councillor Brandy Lauder, Councillor Jolleen Dick and Councillor Warren Lauder. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Hupacasath First Nation chooses new chief councillor, council

First change of leadership in a decade for Vancouver Island nation

A trailer with fire damage is taped off by the Port Alberni Fire Department at the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Fire knocked down at Wintergreen Apartments trailer

City is concerned about zoning, building code and fire code infractions surrounding the trailers

File photo of Gord Johns during World Oceans Day.
Courtenay-Alberni MP outlines priorities for federal budget

Universal pharmacare, affordable housing and Pacific wild salmon are some of the… Continue reading

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Lukas Jirousek pokes the puck away from Grizzlies forward Henri Schreifels during a game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Career night for Castagna can’t lift Alberni Valley Bulldogs past Victoria

Back-and-forth affair between Bulldogs and Grizzlies ends 7-5 for visiting team

Logging Camp Nine on Great Central Lake overlooks a large forest fire across the lake in this historical photo from May 1943. Camp Nine was bustling, with residences for logging camp staff, a rail line and rail cars visible. This is one of 24,000 photos contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN12220 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Great Central Lake’s sawmill

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Vally Museum

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read