Newly-elected Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean delivers her acceptance speech alongside outgoing MLA Maurine Karigianis and supporter View Royal Coun. Ron Mattson.                                Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Newly-elected Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean delivers her acceptance speech alongside outgoing MLA Maurine Karigianis and supporter View Royal Coun. Ron Mattson. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

New Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA looking ahead to first term

Mitzi Dean says initial order of business will be setting up her constituency office

A day after her provincial win in Esquimalt-Metchosin, the NDP’s Mitzi Dean admitted Wednesday she was still getting used to the fact she’ll soon have a new job.

“It’s still settling in,” she said, laughing.

A political newcomer best known in the community as executive director for the Pacific Centre Family Services Association in Colwood, Dean scored a decisive victory over BC Liberal Barb Desjardins and the Green Party’s Andy MacKinnon on Tuesday.

The final counts had her ahead of Desjardins by 4,239 votes, with MacKinnon sitting in third, 4,989 off the lead.

On election night, the Metchosin resident arrived at her View Royal campaign office just after 10 p.m. to cheers from a raucous crowd.

She credited a strong NDP platform and her team’s work on the ground as definitive factors in her win.

“I feel really proud. Our team has worked really really hard,” she told the gathering of supporters.

She highlighted housing and transportation as the major issues facing the riding.

“We know that affordability is a really important crisis that we need to sort out. People need to have services as well and they need to have them where they need them and when they need them,” she told reporters.

“We (also need) to take some action on transit. That can really help improve the quality of people’s lives.”

Standing beside her as she delivered her victory speech was outgoing MLA Maurine Karagianis, who held the seat for the NDP since 2005.

“Maurine is a fabulous friend and a wonderful mentor,” Dean said. “She’s been wonderful and a great support.”

The following day, the new MLA was already looking ahead.

“Obviously it’s still a bit of wait and see because we do need to see what’s going to happen provincially,” she said, referring to the unofficial minority government status of the Liberals, in advance of the tally of absentee votes and anticipated recounts in some of the province’s closest ridings. “At a local level, what we need to start doing is thinking about our constituency office. I want us to be as accessible as possible and make sure that people of this community know where they can find us.”

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

BC Election 2017BC Votes 2017