Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

B.C. VOTES 2020: NDP takes Vernon-Monashee for the first time since the 1980s

Vernon’s Harwinder Sandhu of the NDP unseats three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster

For Harwinder Sandhu’s daughter’s birthday, the best gift came after lunch.

Sandhu, running for the NDP, was officially elected as Vernon-Monashee MLA Sunday, Nov. 8, after mail-in and absentee ballots were counted over two-and-a-half days.

The Vernon nurse garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who collected 9,798 votes, a difference of 424 votes. Sandhu becomes the first NDP candidate to win the riding since the 1980s. She had trailed Foster by 182 votes at the end of election night, Oct. 24.

The result came on her daughter Jasreen’s 14th birthday.

“This has been a week of mixed emotions because Nov. 6 was the 10th anniversary of my first husband’s death, Jasreen turned four just two days after it, but to win on her birthday, she said that was the biggest gift of all,” said Sandhu from her home. She was so busy accepting congratulations that she missed a call to her cell phone from NDP Premier John Horgan.

Her first call of congratulations came from a gracious Foster.

“We had a great talk,” said Sandhu. “I thanked him for his years of service. I want to work with him to get this feedback and he’s got so much experience. He gave me some advice about how hard the job can be for people with young families.”

Working in the healthcare profession, she said, will prepare her for her new role in Victoria.

“In healthcare, you walk into the unpredictable every day,” said Sandhu. “You hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to making Vernon-Monashee proud for everybody, not just those who voted for me.”

Horgan phoned Sandhu election night and got an earful about issues in the riding.

“He said how proud he was of our team and how the voting showed that people could see potential in us. We had a great conversation,” said Sandhu.

Foster was upbeat but understandably disappointed when contacted after the result.

“I’m OK,” he said. “It’s always unfortunate when you don’t cross the finish line in first place. But Harwinder did a great job and she’ll do a great job in Victoria. I wish her nothing but the best. It will be an exciting next four years.”

Asked about his future, Foster said he will go to Victoria and clean out his office and apartment, then return to his home in Lumby that he shares with his wife, Janice.

“I’ll sit down and put my feet up for a bit but we are going to be involved in the community,” he said. “We’re not going to hide in our backyard.”

Green Party candidate Keli Westgate finished third in the riding with 4,464 votes while Conservative Kyle Delfing was fourth with 3,472 votes.

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES 2020: The latest results as mail-in ballot counts continue



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Vernon nurse Harwinder Sandhu has been elected as MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

In a stunning upset, Sandhu garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who finished with 9,798 votes. It’s the first time the riding has elected an NDP member to the Legislature in Victoria since the 1980s.

Foster had a 182 vote lead at the end of election night Saturday, Oct. 24, with mail-in and absentee ballots still to be counted.

Those votes were checked over the past three days.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ultramarathon a few miles short, but many dollars beyond its goal

Six-day run misses record bid, but Help Fill A Dream fundraiser a big success

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island woman reminds community that not everyone can wear a mask

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

Fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year. (Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Most Read