With the NDP holding three of the four seats in the Tri-Cities going into tonight’s election, the region promises to be a key part of the party’s attempt to win the province.
But one riding, which just so happens to be the lone outlier of those four, looks to be an interesting one to watch.
That riding would be Port Moody-Coquitlam, which saw Liberal candidate Linda Reimer narrowly beating popular Port Moody mayor Joe Trasolini by just 437 votes.
Trasolini won the riding in a 2012 by-election, which is the first time it has been held by the NDP since 1991.
However, Trasolini won’t be returning to make a bid for the seat, as the party is instead opting to run former Port Moody councillor and tech-industry veteran Rick Glumac.
Meanwhile, Greens candidate Don Barthel plans to be a serious contender, despite reports that he’d referred to himself as a “paper candidate” on social media.
Of the issues at hand in the riding, healthcare and affordability are top of the pile.
Reimer stirred controversy at an all candidates meeting when she said she supported some degree of healthcare privatization.
“I do support the privatization to a certain extent of our system, I think that choice is always good for people and I myself have had a surgery in the private healthcare system, and I would like to think by me going to the private system it opened up another space for someone in the public healthcare system,” Reimer said.
Those remarks were widely circulated by the NDP, and compounded an already hot-button issue after it was revealed a patient waited for over 36 hours to be treated at Port Moody’s Eagle Ridge Hospital.
The expansion of the Evergreen SkyTrain line into the area has also led to a housing boom, raising issues of affordability.
And as with many ridings in Metro Vancouver, childcare is another large issue in the riding, which is home to one of the largest school districts in B.C.
We’ll have more from Port Moody-Coquitlam and the rest of the Tri-Cities as the night continues.