B.C. held a pair of by elections last night, and it didn’t go well for the governing B.C. Liberals.
As expected, the NDP’s Melanie Marks took Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, considered one of their safest ridings in the province.
But in a tougher fight in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, traditional Liberal territory, rookie NDP MLA-Elect Jodie Wickens also broke through.
Tonight on Drex Live, we chatted with both to take the measure of the province’s two newest legislators.
“It’s definitely a rollercoaster, and I don;t think anybody really knows what to expect until they’re in the position.”
She says it’s still sinking in, but she has a few weeks before the vote count is finalized and she becomes an MLA.
In the mean time, she’s taking advantage of all the support that’s been pouring in.
“I’ve had lots of phone calls and lots of conversations with my new colleagues that are all very excited and want to lend a helping hand, and make the transition as easy for me as possible – you know I’m a young mom, I have young children, so it’s going to be a bit of a tricky transition.”
Mark is B.C.’s first elected aboriginal woman, and it looks like the province was ready for it. A video posted to CKNW’s Facebook page of her ceremonial entrance after her victory last night has already garnered nearly 400,000 views.
Mark says she can’t believe it.
“I would never imagine in my wildest dreams that we would be going viral.”
Winning in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, one of the NDP’s fortresses means this will likely be just the first step in a long career for the young MLA-Elect – but Mark says she’s not letting it go to her head.
“Today’s day one – I’m going to work hard for the rest of my life as long as people have confidence in me as their leader to represent them as their advocate in Victoria. It’s a privilege.”
Mark also spent eight years working in the office of the Representative for Children and Youth, and says she’s excited to bring that experience to the legislature, particularly in the wake of it’s ongoing troubles.
She says she doesn’t know what portfolio she’ll be assigned, and won’t presume – but would love a chance to take on the issue.
“The young people that I’ve worked with and that I’ve advocated with and that were a part of my campaign – their dream is that I’m the critic for the Ministry of Children and Families and that I get to hold minister Stephanie Cadieux accountable.”