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Melanie Mark becomes first Aboriginal woman elected to B.C. legislature

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DH Vancouver Staff Feb 03, 2016 7:45 am

It was a solid victory for the NDP as two candidates were elected into the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain ridings in Tuesday’s byelection.

Melanie Mark won in Vancouver in a landslide victory, garnering over 60% of the votes in her traditionally NDP riding. Mark is now the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the B.C. legislature.

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Mark is of Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree, and Ojibway descent and is a child and youth advocate. According to her website, Mark worked with the Urban Native Youth Association and Covenant House Vancouver and grew up in East Vancouver. She’s also a mother to two children.

The NDP clean sweep was a bit of an upset for Coquitlam. The Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding is historically Liberal, and political analysts had predicted it would remain the same.

UBC PhD candidate David Moscrop said byelections are a chance for people upset with the status quo to send a message to those in power.

“It’s fairly low stakes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important,” Moscrop told Vancity Buzz.

Final results and tabulations won’t be available until Tuesday, February 9.

Here are the preliminary byelection results:

Coquitlam-Burke Mountain

  • 90 of 90 ballot boxes reported – 7,704 votes / 100%
    • Paul Geddes, Libertarian Party – 145 votes / 1.88%
    • Joan Isaacs, B.C. Liberal Party – 2,936 votes / 38.11%
    • Joe Keithley, B.C. Green Party – 1,061 votes / 13.77%
    • Jodie Wickens, B.C. NDP – 3,562 / 46.25%

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

  • 91 of 91 ballot boxes reported – 8,801 votes / 100%
    • Gavin Dew, B.C. Liberal Party – 994 votes / 11.29%
    • Pete Fry, B.C. Green Party – 2,325 votes / 26.42%
    • Jeremy Gutsafon, YPP – 55 votes / 0.62%
    • Bonnie Boya Hu, Libertarian – 74 votes / 0.84%
    • Melanie Mark, B.C. NDP – 5,353 votes / 60.82%
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DH Vancouver Staff
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