B.C. election 2017: Ellis Ross elected in Skeena riding

Ellis Ross, the Liberal MLA for B.C.'s Skeena riding, is shown here.
Ellis Ross, the Liberal MLA for B.C.'s Skeena riding, is shown here. Facebook/Ellis Ross

Correction: Global News mis-identified the winner as NDP candidate Bruce Bidgood instead of Liberal candidate Ellis Ross.

Ellis Ross has been elected in the riding of Skeena.

In this riding, incumbent NDP MLA Robin Austin was not seeking re-election, so the party lost the incumbent advantage. Austin won the riding in 2013 with 522 votes.

The BC Liberals landed a star candidate in Ellis Ross, former chief of the Haisla First Nations and a prominent aboriginal leader, who is known for his support of industries such as LNG.

Former chief councilor of the Haisla Nation, first elected to Council in 2003. In 2012, Ross was appointed the inaugural Chair of the Aboriginal Business and Investment Council (by Christy Clark). A star First Nations candidate.

This riding is always a close race, given the low population base and turnout.

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In 2009, NDP incumbent Robin Austin won this riding over Liberal Donny Van Dyk by nearly 1,500 votes.

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The Skeena riding has been on the hustings since the 1924 election, often changing boundaries but generally containing the main cities between Prince Rupert and the Nechako area. The riding includes Terrace, Kitmat, and a number of smaller aboriginal communities. The NDP has won seven of the last 10 elections here, and while the Liberals tend to do well in Terrace, there are other areas of the riding where the NDP gets over 10 times the votes of other parties.