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

Gabrielle Poon said Fiction, formerly Amka, is the perfect fit for their family. “She loves playing with her big brothers, Cricket (a Shiba Inu) and Facts (Siberian husky).” She has attended rally, obedience, and agility classes and has done remarkably well for such a young pup, according to Poon. “She is eager to please and gets excited whenever she sees the training equipment pulled out. She loves hiking and had her first overnight hiking trip in October. She is such sweet little dog and has so much love to give. We’re delighted to have Fiction as a member of our family!” Poon said. (SPCA photo)
Before and after: SPCA shares update on rescued husky puppies

Seventeen husky puppies were adopted after being found neglected on a property in the B.C. Interior last December

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Boundary Mountie and suspect airlifted from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

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

Your morning start for Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet the Santa Parade down Main Street in 2019. (Brennan Phillips Western News file photo)
Candy Cane Lane cancelled

Hoodoo Adventure will be creating a holiday spirit map instead

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 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

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

The Kelowna RCMP has recovered a replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa after it was stolen from a local business. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP recover ‘Mona Lisa’

A local business had a replica Mona Lisa stolen from their business last month

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

(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

Most Read