Ellis Ross, his election team and supporters cheer as results confirm his win in Skeena riding. Photo Gerry Leibel

Skeena BC Liberal winner Ellis Ross says job need drove his campaign

NDP candidate Bruce Bidgood said he and team gave 100 per cent to campaign

A victorious Ellis Ross, who ended a 12-year drought tonight by winning the Skeena riding seat for the BC Liberals, promised to keep to his campaign pledge of working to provide jobs.

“I could really feel the anxiety in the Skeena riding. People didn’t want to leave and go to Alberta for jobs. That’s one reason why I did this,” he said in a speech before an ecsatic crowd at the Wings restaurant tonight in Terrace.

Ross won by a considerable margin, 6,370 votes to NDP rival Bruce Bidgood’s 5,089. Merv Ritchie of the Land Air Water party had 503 votes.

Ross had 53 per cent of the vote, the greatest percentage of any Skeena riding winner dating back to the 2001 election which BC Liberal Roger Harris won with 65 per cent of the vote.

Robin Austin represented the Skeena riding for the NDP by winning in 2005, in 2009 and again in 2013 before retiring this year.

In 2013 Austin had 5,609 votes or 47.71 per cent with BC Liberal Carol Leclerc coming in at 5,087 votes or 43.27 per cent.

It’s understood that Ross took Kitimat this time, building on Leclerc’s closing the gap in what had been a traditional NDP voting community by coming within 23 votes of winning there in 2013.

Ross, a former Haisla Nation chief councillor hand-picked by Christy Clark last year, did not win his home Kitamaat Village.

“Obviously we’re disappointed, we’d anticipated a different outcome,” said a disappointed Bidgood in speaking to supporters tonight at the Terrace Best Western Inn. “It’s one of those bitter sweet things.

Bidgood said he called Ross to congratulate him on his win.

“And I said to him, ‘Ellis, all I expect from you is to be the best MLA you can be for the Skeena riding.’”

Ross, Bidgood added, said that’s what he’s going to do.

“I’m surprised that I’m not feeling more choked up than I am, but when you put in your very best effort, then you sit there and say, well, I didn’t win the race, but I ran the best race I ever ran. that’s the way I feel,” said Bidgood.

Based on the 20,000 registered voters as of mid-April, the turnout was approximately 60 per cent, greater than the 55.85 per cent of the last provincial election in 2013.

Elsewhere in the northwest, NDP incumbents Jennifer Rice in the North Coast riding and Doug Donaldson in the Stikine riding had little trouble holding onto their seats.

As of 11:40 pm what had been a tie tipped in the favour of the Liberals, 43 seats to 41 for the NDP and three to the Greens.

Just Posted

Cable Car quarry to go ahead

A second application for a quarry on Kitamaat Village Road is underway

Heavy rains threatened operations at Rio Tinto

Situation aggravated by the washout of the PNG gas pipeline

Ross backs Wilkinson for head of BC Liberals

“As an urbanite, he’s very aware of the issues that are important to rural people.” - Ross

Amendments will prevent unreasonable rent increases

The amendments would improve the rights of renters throughout the province.

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

New real estate rule will hurt Kitimat market

“I feel I have been robbed of what I have been good at for the past nine years”

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read