Tanisha Funk, Taya Haldorson and Doreen Funk made voting in the provincial election a family affair on Saturday, Oct. 24. The trio stopped in at the Quesnel Senior's Centre poll on voting day. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

“Disappointing” local campaign doesn’t dampen Green spirits in Quesnel

Cariboo North candidate Douglas Gook is celebrating a potential first mainland victory for his party

While Douglas Gook’s personal vote totals weren’t high, the Cariboo North Green Party candidate still found reason to celebrate during the 2020 election night.

The Green Party is leading in three seats province-wide after Election Day, with mail-in ballots yet to be counted. Going into the campaign, it appeared the Greens would have an uphill battle to retain the three seats they won in 2017.

Gook said he’s waiting to see what the final count will bring.

“There are a couple Green Party second places that look interesting,” he said. “There could be some change-ups.”

B.C. VOTES 2020: Cariboo North candidate questionnaire – Douglas Gook, Green Party

Gook said he struggled to connect with voters as he had in past elections, with COVID-19 restricting opportunities for interaction.

“I found there wasn’t a lot of opportunity through media and all-candidates debates and things to bring the issues up as much as I would have liked to,” he said. “A lot of those issues, I felt it was only the Green Party that was really bringing them up. That was a bit disappointing.”

Gook also passed on congratulations to B.C. Liberal candidate Coralee Oakes, who appears to have locked up the riding for the third consecutive term, according to the preliminary results. She’s up 1,500 votes over her nearest competitor, with only 2,000 potential mail-in ballots to come.

B.C. VOTES 2020: Coralee Oakes on track to reclaim Cariboo North seat

The Green Party accounted for 6.4 per cent of the Election Day and advance vote preliminary totals in Cariboo North in 2020.

One of the three seats the Green Party is leading in province-wide is West Vancouver-Sea to Sky. If the result holds, it would be the Green Party’s first seat on mainland B.C., a milestone Gook thinks could shift the political spectrum.

“That was a B.C. Liberal seat, and the Greens captured the imagination and support through the kinds of solutions we were putting forward,” he said. “The kinds of things that were brought up in the past three years by having a Green Party caucus in the legislature are going to continue.”

The final election count, including mail-in ballots, will begin on Nov. 6.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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