Incumbent Scott Fraser gets a celebratory kiss from his wife Dolores after being declared the MLA for Alberni-Pacific Rim on Tuesday night. Fraser beat challengers Darren DeLuca (Liberal) and Enid Mary Sangster-Kelly (Conservative).

Fraser maintains NDP stronghold in Alberni-Pacific Rim

Incumbent Alberni-Pacific Rim NDP MLA Scott Fraser won the battle for his seat. But his party lost the war in the provincial election

Scott Fraser, the incumbent NDP MLA for Alberni-Pacific Rim, has won the battle for his seat.

But his party has lost the war with the election of a Liberal majority government on Tuesday.

Fraser took the riding with 9,829 votes. Liberal candidate Darren  DeLuca had 5,981, and BC Conservative candidate Enid Mary Sangster-Kelly earned 1,377 votes.

Officials reported an overall BC voter turnout at 48 per cent.

“I’m grateful for…a resounding endorsement from the voters of Alberni-Pacific Rim,” Fraser said. “Darren put up a good fight and I always expect a fight.”

Fraser circulated about the room at the Steelworkers Hall on Montrose Street, which was filled with a who’s-who from Port Alberni labour: Steelworkers, ADTU, district labour council and others.

Province-wide the Liberals took 50 seats to the NDP’s 33.

Vancouver Island remains an NDP stronghold, having won 10 of 14 seats. The Liberals won two seats. The Green Party established a beach head, electing their first member in Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

The Liberal majority shocked Fraser. “I traveled across BC and most people said that they were ready for a change,” he said.

Fraser said he’ll continue to fight for issues that are pertinent to the Alberni Valley. Raw log exports need to be reduced, and the value of logs has to be increased in relation to jobs, he said.

The forest industry needs to be better managed, and the Raven Underground Coal Project bears watching, he added. “Those checks and balances need to be there so we don’t end up losing what we already have.”

The NDP may be in opposition again but there’s still an obligation to hold the Liberal government to account, Fraser said.

Across town at Liberal headquarters, challenger Darren DeLuca said he gave it his best shot. “I came out of the gate late but we gave it a good run,” DeLuca said.

Business types, city councillor Hira Chopra and Federal Conservative MP James Lunney milled about DeLuca’s campaign headquarters on the old Nanaimo Highway. “I was at Liberal offices here in past elections and we were lucky to get 12 people and a sleepy dog out. Tonight there’s about 100 people here,” DeLuca said.

The Liberal platform of jobs and the economy resonated with voters, and a majority government validates their staying power, DeLuca said.

“Win or lose, our community is looking for leadership with those issues,” he said.

DeLuca spoke often about a Highway 4 connector. The issue is prominent, needed, and is now part of the Valley’s agenda. “No matter who or what party leads, the people want someone who can get that done,” DeLuca said.

The prospect of an NDP majority spooked voters, DeLuca said, and the NDP record of the 1990s was the ghost that came back to haunt the party. “Adrian Dix and Moe Sihota (party president) were two of three architects of that decade,” DeLuca said. “People don’t want or need their lives turned upside down again.”

On CBC Radio, NDP leader Adrian Dix, who retained his seat in Vancouver-Kensington, addressed a hushed crowd at the NDP campaign headquarters.

“Elections belong to the voters and the voters have decided,” Dix said. “It’s our responsibility, our duty, to accept that decision.”

Liberal leader Christy Clark spoke confidently about her party’s win.

“Tonight, we have received a mandate from the people of British Columbia,” she said on CBC Radio. “I say to the citizens of British Columbia, you have humbled us tonight with this opportunity and the tremendous obligation you’ve placed on our shoulders.”

Clark’s fight isn’t over yet though.

She lost her  Vancouver-Point Grey riding, to the NDP’s David Eby 10,162 ­­­- 9,377.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Island Health issues boil water advisory for Cherry Creek, near Port Alberni

Island Health has issued a boil water advisory for the entire Cherry… Continue reading

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Alberni Valley Community Foundation seeks grant recipients

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be… Continue reading

BCHL: Bulldogs beat Cowichan in double OT

Teams are 1–1 in three-game home-and-home stand; play in Cowichan Jan. 20

Port Alberni city council to ‘stay on course’ for five-year budget plan

Next budget meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m

Floods, power lines down on Bamfield Road

Power outage affecting more than 400 customers

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read