‘British Columbians Sent Us a Message’ – Shirley Bond
Prince George, B.C. – Prince George-Valemount Liberal MLA Shirley Bond has weighed in on the political uncertainty facing the province as British Columbians await the results of at least two recounts that will have major implications on how B.C. is governed moving forward.
This just four days after she cruised to a landslide victory in her riding Tuesday night – her fifth consecutive win.
“I’ve been out in the Robson Valley, throughout the whole constituency, and it’s just great to get the honks and waves and congratulations,” says Bond.
“But people are concerned abut the certainty we have not got yet at a provincial level and they want to be sure that our voices are loudly heard. I’ve been describing it to people as interesting times ahead but all I know is I’m already back at work supporting and working hard on behalf of my constituents.”
She also shared her thoughts on the apparent urban-rural divide in B.C. where an overwhelming majority of seats in the Interior and the North are held by BC Liberals.
“Well I think we ran on an agenda of job creation, supporting major projects and I think there’s more questions about that in the Lower Mainland,” says Bond.
“There are some other issues as well, so we’re going to work hard to make sure that we hear the views of all British Columbians.”
Does she still have confidence in Premier Christy Clark after the party’s reduced seat count?
“I do. I think that Christy has demonstrated her leadership. We have the leading economy in the country, we have the best job creation rate, the lowest unemployment rate,” says Bond.
“I do think though that we recognize this as a team, that British Columbians sent us a message about listening, about working across party lines and I think she’s going to be very good at that.”
She also admits it’s pretty nerve-wracking waiting for the final recounts to be completed.
“Of course. I think British Columbians are nervous. I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and asked me ‘what’s going to happen May 22?” says Bond.
“I think most people want to find some resolution here, they want us to be constructive as we work in the legislature and I think having a more collaborative legislature would be a good thing.
“I have tried to work on files with Andrew Weaver, with others and have been very supportive when NDP MLAs have come to my office. I think there’s going to be a more collaborative approach but it means we’ll need to be stronger and stand up more aggressively for northern B.C.”
Elections BC confirmed today there will be two recounts in the province – in the Vancouver-False Creek and Courtenay-Comox ridings (the deadline to apply for a recount is this Monday). Absentee ballots (over 179,000 of them) will be counted starting May 22.
Currently the BC Liberals hold 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the BC Greens 3.