The City of Victoria may be feeling a little bittersweet this morning. City councillor Laurel Collins won her seat in the Victoria riding for the NDP, leaving a hole in council’s numbers which will prompt an upcoming by-election to replace her.
During the Monday night celebrations at Bartholomew’s Pub, Collins was greeted with boisterous cheers.
Collins had served as a city councillor for less than a year when she decided to try for the MP position previously held by NDP’s Murray Rankin.
With an early lead, Collins ended up taking 35 per cent of the votes and was declared the winner shortly before 9 p.m.
“When we send New Democrats to Ottawa good things happen,” Collins said on Monday night. “The work begins tomorrow, but tonight is for celebrating.”
Collins further promised to carry the messages of Greater Victoria residents forward to Ottawa.
“The thing that came up the most in this campaign is that our community wants bold action on the climate crisis, it wants leadership on the housing crisis and to make sure we are investing and expanding on our health care system,” Collins said.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said she is happy for Collins’ victory.
“It will be good to have someone who has an understanding of cities representing Victoria in Ottawa,” Helps said. “Whether it’s prosperity creation or fighting climate change, cities are poised to lead in the 21st century. Having a city councillor MP is an asset.”
Helps said the byelection to replace Collins will not take place until February 2020. The long gap is due to the fact that Collins will need to officially resign, which will be followed by a City Hall shut down prompted by the Christmas holiday season.
The byelection won’t be cheap, however. According to the City, the upcoming byelection is likely to cost around $200,000.
-With files from Kendra Crighton, Travis Peterson, Christine Van Reeuwyk