The weekend tally of mail-in ballots not only confirmed election night data, but added to the B.C. NDP’s impressive majority in the legislature.
Final count has the NDP at 57 seats, the B.C. Liberals at 28 seats and the B.C. Greens at two seats, pending one judicial recount that could add a Green or subtract a Liberal from the totals.
Now that the results are final, it is clear the New Democrats have a clear mandate — despite voter turnout being abysmal at barely more than 50 per cent.
Then again, what can we expect during a pandemic?
It is also clear that B.C. is a province divided, with NDP support mainly in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island and Liberal backing primarily in the Interior.
What the NDP needs to do — indeed, is obligated to do — is reach out to those who did not vote for the party and show that it is a party for all British Columbians, not only for the higher-population centres that turned orange on the map.
That outreach can start right here in Kamloops with Royal Inland Hospital.
Yes, the city has benefited from a massive ongoing expansion approved by the former Liberal government and continued by the NDP, but Premier John Horgan doubled down during the campaign, saw his party had a chance in Kamloops-North Thompson and pledged to add a cancer care centre to the hospital within this next mandate.
That would mean patients need not travel to Kelowna or Vancouver for radiation and other treatment as of 2024 at the latest.
There were other promises made (oh, so many) during the election campaign and it is incumbent upon Opposition MLAs across B.C. to hold the government accountable for following through on those pledges.
After all, Kamloopsians know better than most how it feels to have a promise yanked away and handed to a rival city.