Coralee Oakes retains her seat in Cariboo North

Close race provincially, minority government a possibility

KEN ALEXANDER

Observer Reporter

Cariboo North B.C. Liberal candidate Coralee Oakes learned around 10 p.m. May 9 she will, once again, be representing her constituents in the Legislative Assembly in Victoria.

More than 11,000 ballots were cast in the May 9 provincial election, and Oakes garnered 5,969 to handily beat her nearest rival – NDP candidate Scott Elliot who picked up 4,117.

Green candidate Richard Jaques came in third with with 836 votes and Conservative candidate Tony Goulet collected 690 votes.

Oakes says she is a “little overwhelmed and deeply humbled because it was an incredibly tough election” for the B.C. Liberals.

“I knew it was going to be really close. All of the candidates worked hard and brought forward contrasting messages. The volunteers for the last month of all of the participating parties worked so hard – it’s humbling.”

Asked about her thoughts on the strong, hard-working female Liberal MLAs up and down Highway 97 – herself, Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie – being re-elected, Oakes says she would add Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson to the list.

“All of us are passionate advocates for rural British Columbia. We represent the smaller communities … really interesting areas and we have a lot of unincorporated areas.

“I think sometimes the representation as MLAs is different than our colleagues.”

She adds women tend to look at things a little differently, too.

“The one thing that stood out for me personally on this campaign is the amount of young women and girls who came up to me and said, ‘I want to be the prime minster or I want to be the premier.

“I think we’re seeing new opportunities and that means there’s going to be a change.”

Provincially, Oakes says her party always knew it was going to be a really close election race.

On Election 2017 night, the B.C. Liberals finished election night with 43 elected seats and 41 per cent of the popular vote.

The NDP ended up 41 elected seats and 41 per cent of the popular vote.

Oakes notes everyone is going to have to wait for two weeks to see what the final count will be because any recounts and absentee ballots will have to be counted.

Both party leaders are suggesting the recount will make their seat count stronger.

Meanwhile, the Green Party tripled the number of seats it will have the Legislative Assembly from one to three, and doubled its percentage of the popular vote.

The Greens now hold the balance of power and may determine which of the leading parties will give it the best deal to help form a minority government.

That, of course, depends on whether Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver wants to jump in bed with one of the other parties, and whether the possible recounts and a absentee ballots count will change the number of seats held by the NDP and the B.C. Liberals.

Just Posted

Nazko guide-outfitter looking for stewardship from Province after wildfires

Stewart Fraser wants the government to take a good long look at forest practices and wildlife management

BC Housing to issue request for proposals for operation of supportive housing facility

The provincial body will seek proposals from all eligible non-profit societies for the Quesnel project

House fire in Quesnel’s Uplands

A home on Donnelly St. caught fire very early this morning

Quesnel residents discover a day in the life of a Chinese student

School in China starts early and stays open late with mid-day break

Quesnel mayor asks Municipal Affairs minister for help

Council wants BC Housing to have an open bid for supported housing project operator

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read