Gregor Robertson won a third term as Vancouver’s mayor on Saturday night, defeating Non-Partisan Association challenger Kirk LaPointe. Robertson took 46 per cent of the vote, six points ahead of LaPointe.
The mayor’s Vision Vancouver party also won a majority of the seats on city council.
“I’ve heard from lots of Vancouverites about their strong belief and love for our city, our shared values,” Robertson told supporters on Saturday night, his victory sealed. “I’ve also heard loud and clear that there are things that we could do better and we will.
“There are some very urgent issues we face… There is a lot more to do and we’re really looking forward to working together as one big team in Vancouver to accomplish these great goals.”
Robertson’s third straight term in office will make him Vancouver’s longest-serving, consecutive-term mayor. But elsewhere in B.C., election night saw new leaders take the big seat in the province’s major cities.
In Surrey, Linda Hepner and her Surrey First party swept city hall. Hepner won her first term as mayor – she replaces Dianne Watts, who was at Hepner’s side on Saturday and plans to run for federal office with the Conservatives in the South Surrey-White Rock riding in 2015 – and Surrey First won all eight council seats.
“Surrey has spoken loud and clear,” Hepner said. “They want us to go forward, not back.”
In New Westminster, Jonathan Cote defeated four-term mayor Wayne Wright by a margin of more than 2,500 votes, collecting 52.9 per cent of all ballots cast. It was a different story in neighbouring Burnaby however, as mayor Derek Corrigan was re-elected for his fifth straight term.
In Abbotsford, Bruce Banman was defeated by new mayor Henry Braun, who won by 600 votes – 16,171 to 15,594 for the incumbent Banman. In Mission, former MLA Randy Hawes easily won the mayor’s vote, defeating second-place Tony Luck by over 800 ballots. Hawes took 3,068 votes in the win; incumbent Ted Adlem finished in third place with 1,840 votes.
In White Rock, incumbent Wayne Baldwin secured his second term as mayor with 3,225 votes, nearly double that of second-place challenger David Bradshaw (with 1,640).
In Richmond, mayor Malcolm Brodie won re-election with 27,149 votes, crushing Richard Lee’s 10,667 ballots.
East of Vancouver, Colin Basran won election as mayor of Kelowna, the largest city in B.C.’s interior.
“In the end, it wasn’t close,” reported the Kelowna Capital News on Saturday night.
“Kelowna voters elected Colin Basran, the city’s youngest person and first person of colour to win the mayor’s chair, elevating the realtor and former television news reporter from being a one-term city councillor to mayor…
“He won the race by a wide margin over his much more experienced main challenger, former mayor Sharon Shepherd, who ran what she described as a “grassroots” budget campaign that did not even have a campaign office.”
Basran won with 56.7 per cent of the vote to Shepherd’s 35.3 per cent.
In Vernon, new mayor Akbal Mund won election with 3,714 votes to Victor Cumming’s 3,089.
“It’s exciting,” said Mund. “There was a lot of the young voting crowd who came out who were engaged. People wanted change and a new direction.”
In the province’s capital Victoria, new mayor Lisa Helps won election in a squeaker, defeating Dean Fortin by just 89 votes.
“Now the work begins,” Helps said in her victory speech. “We came from behind. We don’t have political affiliation, we have people… If we can build a strong team at city hall, that’s the first start. And really my commitment for the next four years is to work alongside and with the citizens and business owners in Victoria to make this our city.”
Next door in Saanich, Richard Atwell defeated six-term incumbent mayor Richard Leonard.
“Did I believe I’d get in? I really don’t know but we tried our hardest,” Atwell said. “That was harder than anything I’ve done in my life, and I used to work 45 days in a row for Apple, followed by 30 days in a row.”