To many, Norm Macdonald’s re-election as the NDP MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke comes as no surprise. A seasoned and increasingly high profile politician, he has once again won the trust of voters in his electoral district and will be returning to Victoria to represent the Columbia Valley, as well as Kimberley, Golden and Revelstoke, in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
While this victory is his third consecutive win — much to the dismay of local staunch Liberal supporters — support for him has dropped somewhat compared to what has been the case in the past. For the first time in his provincial political career, Mr. Macdonald has been voted in with less than 50 per cent of the vote in this riding.
And rather than a triumphant NDP return to power as the polls predicted, he is among a smaller number of NDP MLAs than what was the case heading into the election. Not only did the BC Liberals experience a surprising comeback, but they increased their majority in the legislature by five seats.
In other words, Mr. Macdonald has his work cut out for him. Particularly when it comes to opposition to Jumbo Glacier Resort and the Mountain Resort Municiaplity status it was granted, which the NDP vowed to overturn should they form government. With a Liberal majority, JGR council meetings will continue to take place as will re-zoning and development permit applications. This NDP enclave in an otherwise Liberal-dominated province will undoubtedly experience some growing pains over the next few years, as will other communities across B.C. facing the possibility of encroaching oil and gas pipelines, never mind a high alpine ski resort.
The BC Liberals mean business, and how environmentally sound it will prove to be is yet to be determined, as is their fiscal responsibility, but B.C. voters have given them another chance to prove themselves. Let’s hope it’s not in vain.