BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)

‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

The Vernon-Monashee race isn’t over yet. It was one of the province’s four ridings with an outcome too close to call after ballots were counted on election night Oct. 24.

The final count of the remaining mail-in ballots will determine whether BC Liberal candidate Eric Foster, vying his fourth term as MLA, will be upset by NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu.

Sandhu followed Foster closely Saturday night as ballots were tallied and the final preliminary count keeps Foster ahead with a slim lead of only 180 votes.

“I knew it was going to be a lot closer than the past,” Foster said from his campaign chair’s home Saturday night.

“While it’s too early to say, with the margins so close, whether I’ll be serving this riding once again … I start this new day with gratitude,” Foster wrote in a post to social media.

The final count won’t be available for another three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every vote counts,” Sandhu told Black Press Media on Sunday afternoon. “I respect whatever the decision voters make in the end.”

Sandhu was watching the results come in from her home, accompanied by family, and she said as she was doing chores around the house, her phone started to ring off the hook with messages such as “good luck” and “you go, girl” from friends and relatives around the province.

She described the atmosphere as “nail-biting,” but the early provincial NDP declaration, only an hour after polls closed, came as no surprise.

“I think the polls were suggesting the response we were getting from people,” she said of early numbers indicating an orange sweep. “Even here in town, it was just amazing. I’ve run a couple of campaigns and this time, the energy was so different and so positive.”

Premier John Horgan’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NDP’s fulfilment of promises, improvement in services, mental health initiatives and establishing the first-ever ministry of mental health were a few points Sandhu listed as reasons behind the party’s success on election night.

“People were very satisfied the NDP had done so well in three years. But there’s a lot more work to do.”

Despite hurdles along the campaign trail brought on by COVID-19 restrictions and vandals targeting her signs, Sandhu said she and her team of supporters and volunteers never heard anything negative.

Now, Foster and Sandhu must wait until the final ballots are totalled to determine the outcome.

Sandhu said she will be returning to work as a nurse at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, which she said will keep her busy through the waiting game.

Foster and Sandhu both offered praise to their campaign teams, fellow candidates — BC Greens Keli Westgate and Conservative Kyle Delfing — as well as volunteers and voters who practised their democratic right.

READ MORE: Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

READ MORE: Too close to call in Vernon-Monashee race


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Votes 2020Election 2020

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

Just Posted

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Wear a mask for the benefit of all

If this virus latches onto one of your cells, it takes over the RNA and DNA and makes you sick

santa.
Morning Start: Santa Claus has an official pilot’s license

Your morning start for Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Christmas amid a global pandemic will be a first for everyone. (Pexels)
POLL: How will you be spending the holidays this year?

The pandemic is sure to make this holiday season unlike any we’ve seen before

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, speaks with North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold during a Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce breakfast Monday, March 2 at Eatology. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Despite $381.6 B deficit, better days are coming: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

“We want Canadians to know that we’ve got their backs”

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

Twelve new curbside pickup parking spots are now in effect along 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. (Downtown Vernon Association photo)
Okanagan city rolls out free curbside pick up parking

12 locations in Vernon intended to help retail and dining sectors amid COVID-19

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are looking for the next of kin after a member of the public reported finding cremated human remains off the BX Falls trail on Oct. 15, 2020. (RCMP)
Cremated human remains found off Vernon hiking trail

RCMP seek to find next of kin, release photo to public to help ID

A happy, well-fed bear cub plays in the grass in northern B.C. (John Marriott photo)
Bear witness: Shuswap’s John Marriott offers intimate look at black, polar and grizzly bears

Sarah Elmeligi and Marriott’s What Bears Teach Us explores bear/human co-existence

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Most Read