The Green Party made significant wins on Vancouver Island during Tuesday’s election.
The party increased its seat count from one to three, including the hotly-contested electoral district of Saanich North and the Islands, where deputy leader Adam Olsen defeated NDP incumbent Gary Holman.
The Greens also elected local activist Sonia Furstenau in Cowichan Valley, taking the seat from the NDP, and re-elected leader Andrew Weaver in Oak Bay-Gordon head.
“The other parties are going to have to take a look at themselves to see why it is that the Green Party is here. We’re here for a reason. It’s because we’re offering something that others aren’t,” said Adam Olsen Monday night.
It was a much different picture for the NDP. The party held onto nine of its seats on Vancouver Island, re-electing many longtime MLAs including Claire Travena, Carole James, Doug Routley, Lana Popham, Leonard Krog and leader John Horgan.
The party managed to take Courtenay-Comox from the Liberals, but overall the NDP lost ground including two seats to the Greens.
“It’s going to be very hard to go back as a team and not have Gary Holman with us, he was a very strong MLA, and that’s heartbreaking to know that some of us will be there and some won’t,” said Carole James.
Meanwhile, the Liberals did not fare as well as they had been hoping. Incumbent Michelle Stilwell held on to her seat in Parksville-Qualicum, but the Liberals lost another seat to the NDP and failed to gain any new ground.
Esquimalt mayor Barb Desjardins lost Esquimalt-Metchosin to NDP newcomer Mitzi Dean.
“It wasn’t as successful as we wanted to take that to the next level, but there are lots of good things happening in Esquimalt,” Desjardins told reporters Monday night.
Desjardins did not rule out a future run, and said she will be returning to work as mayor of Esquimalt.