Supporters of Chelsa Meadus were sombre Saturday evening as they watched election results pour in for Maple Ridge-Mission.
Meadus, the BC Liberal party candidate for the riding arrived with her family for a low-key, socially-distanced celebration at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre.
However, Meadus ended up trailing BC NDP incumbent Bob D’Eith the entire evening.
At the end of the night D’Eith was the front-runner in the riding with 9,693 votes, Meadus had 6,388 votes, and BC Green party hopeful Matt Trenholm took 2,057 votes.
#ElectionRidgeMeadows @bcliberals #MapleRidge #Mission riding where supporters watch results come in.
BC NDP Bob D'Eith 1,827; BC Liberals Chelsa Meadus 1,223, BC Greens Matt Trenholm 457 – 43 of 107 ballot boxes reported #ElectionMission pic.twitter.com/jhJU5ua0VI
— Colleen Flanagan (@ColleenFlanagan) October 25, 2020
“We worked really, really hard with the short timeline we had and COVID. I think we did the best we could,” said Meadus of her campaign.
Where she thought she could have done better was to connect more with residents in Mission.
Meadus heard how frustrated voters were during her campaign and she felt that they got their frustration out by voting Green.
“I think it’s a strong indication that people were not happy with the NDP but also not happy with the Liberals,” she said.
The best thing about the experience of running in the provincial election, noted Meadus, was getting youth involved in her campaign.
With 61 of 107 polls counted in Maple Ridge-Mission, NDP's incumbent Bob D'Eith has 52% of the votes, with Liberal's Chelsa Meadus reporting 35%. pic.twitter.com/Y7aob4Rh7C
— Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News (@MapleRidgeNews) October 25, 2020
“I think that they left feeling proud of the experience and I am just glad that I got to participate with them and be the person they were representing,” she said.
D’Eith was pleased with the results Saturday evening and said he is looking forward to getting back to work as the riding’s MLA.
“Obviously there’s still a lot of votes to be counted. The mail-in ballots still have to be counted. But I’m feeling relatively confident that I will be the MLA,” said D’Eith.
During the campaign he heard a lot from voters voicing concerns about how quickly Maple Ridge and Mission are growing and the affordability of both cities.
He said his government is planning to make sure that the right infrastructure is in place to deal with the growth.
Housing was another concern of voters, he said.
“People still need a lot of help in terms of housing and I think that’s going to continue to be a big issue,” said D’Eith.
He also thanked both Meadus and Trenholm for stepping up to run.
Trenholm was happy with his results and the amount of support for the BC Green Party in the riding.
He believes voters didn’t have a chance to get to know party leader Sonia Furstenau before the election was called.
He would consider running again for the party.
“They have the best platform,” he said. “We just need to get our voice heard a little bit more and get British Columbians more aware of who we are.”
D’Eith narrowly defeated BC Liberal Marc Dalton in the 2017 election in one of the closest races across the province. He had to wait more than two weeks for absentee ballots to be counted before being officially named MLA for the riding. He surpassed Dalton by 325 more votes and ended up with 41.94 per cent share of overall casted votes.
Before his victory he worked in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years. As executive director of Music BC, he was a fierce advocate for the music industry. He is also an entertainment lawyer and two-time JUNO Award nominated recording artist.
This is Meadus’ first time running in the provincial arena. She is currently a first-term member of Maple Ridge council, and a local entrepreneur.
Meadus has worked in the community for 25 years and has led many local non-profits, including Fraser River All Nations Society, an Indigenous advocacy group, Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, Adopt A Block, and MRPM Youth Centre Society.
It is also the first-time running in a provincial election for Trenholm. Trenholm has been a health care worker for 15 years, and is in charge of the imaging centre at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey. He lives in Langley, and is married with two children.
DELAY IN FINAL NUMBERS
Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results won’t be finalized until after Nov. 6., when those mail-in ballots are counted.
An estimated 9,088 number of mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Maple Ridge-Mission riding. There are 47,402 registered voters in the region.
Across B.C., a total of 478,900 mail-in ballots were returned to Election BC, as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22.
There are roughly 3.5 million registered voters in the province.