Nine candidates are vying to represent constituents in New Westminster’s two ridings in Victoria.
The Oct. 24 provincial election marks the second time New West residents have a chance to elect two MLAs – one in the New Westminster riding and another in Richmond-Queensborough Following the 2013 provincial election, New Westminster was divided into two ridings as a result of recommendations by the Electoral Boundaries Commission.
In the 2017 election, NDP incumbent Judy Darcy was re-elected as New Westminster’s MLA, while Liberal candidate Jas Johal was elected in Richmond-Queensborough. Johal is seeking re-election, but Darcy is retiring from politics.
Five candidates are running in the New Westminster riding, which includes the entire mainland portion of the city. Hoping to succeed Darcy as MLA are: Lorraine Brett (BC Liberals); Benny Ogden (BC Conservatives); Cyrus Sy (BC Greens); Jennifer Whiteside (BC NDP); and Don Wilson (BC Libertarian Party).
New Westminster is traditionally strong territory for New Democrats, where residents have elected an NDP (or its Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation predecessor) MLA since 1952. The only exception was in 2001, when Liberal Joyce Murray was elected in an election that saw the NDP win only two seats in the entire province.
In 2017, Darcy handily won with 14,377 votes, followed by Jonina Campbell with the BC Greens (6,939), Brett with the BC Liberals (5,870 votes), James Crosty with Social Credit (280) and Rex Brocki of the Libertarian (174).
Across the bridge, the newly created riding of Richmond-Queensborough was the fourth closest battle in B.C. in the 2017 provincial election, when Johal edged out NDP candidate Aman Singh by just 134 votes.
Singh is back in this year’s race and is hoping to unseat Johal. Kay Hale of the BC Conservatives and Earl Einarson of the BC Greens are also running in Richmond-Queensborough.