Polls have closed in B.C. for the 2019 federal election.
Results are expected to come in throughout the evening as the parties battle to form the next Canadian government.
B.C. is being treated as a major battleground in this election. On Sunday, all four major party leaders spent their final day of campaigning in the province, focusing on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
Here’s a recap of what’s been front of mind for British Columbian voters, followed by links to every riding page where you can watch results come in live.
What are the issues?
B.C. has been one of the focal points of the federal climate change debate for decades, and remains home to hot-button issues like the pipeline expansion and the dwindling southern resident killer whale population.
The province is also the power base for the Green Party, whose leader, Elizabeth May, broke into Parliament by winning the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding in 2011.
This year, B.C. has been home to some of the largest youth-led climate change strikes in Canada, with thousands taking to the streets calling on government to take action — all with support from schools and teachers.
And then there’s Trans Mountain.
In Burnaby North-Seymour specifically, where the pipeline terminates on Burnaby Mountain, safety concerns have been mounting for communities close to the Kinder Morgan terminal.
But the expansion affects several other B.C. ridings, from Vancouver Island to coastal communities like Vancouver, the North Shore and the Sunshine Coast. Whoever wins all of these seats will be held accountable for what happens next.
Despite municipal and provincial efforts like speculation-targeted taxes, crackdowns on renovictions and easing red tape to get more homes built, the message is clear: more financial help is needed from the federal government.
The major political parties have each made commitments to improve housing affordability, with particular focus on helping renters and first-time homebuyers.
Critics have said the plans lean too much in the latter direction at the expense of building more rental housing and easing the cost of those rents.
Candidates in B.C. have unanimously identified housing as a key issue they hear from voters on the doorsteps, and they all promise to deliver. The question after Oct. 21 will be whether any of their ideas will stick.
The overdose crisis
The Downtown Eastside remains the epicentre of B.C.’s overdose epidemic. Vancouver Coastal Health says the area saw more than 100 deaths by residence per 100,000 in population between 2017 and 2018, creating a 15-year discrepancy in life expectancy with the rest of Vancouver.
While the number of deaths has begun to trend down in recent months year over year, the data shows fentanyl and carfentanil contributed to a majority of those deaths. In the case of carfentanil, those instances are rising.
Advocates say the solutions should be simple: provide a safe drug supply, decriminalize hard drugs and end the stigma surrounding drug use that leads people to use alone. But not every party has committed to all or even some of those ideas.
Residents in the Lower Mainland have been pleading with Ottawa to make resources available to help curb gang violence in the community.
Surrey in particular has seen an explosion in dangerous gang activity, from the murder of a Hells Angel in broad daylight to numerous drug trafficking arrests.
The NDP is promising a $100 million fund to keep kids out of gangs, Liberals are promising another $250 million to fight gun violence and the Conservatives are promising grants for police departments and to cost-share anti-gang initiatives with provinces.
But community action groups say federal parties often fail to follow through on their big promises, and are hoping the same doesn’t happen this time around.
The future of key transit projects and expansions could end up being a deal-breaker for many local politicians and their constituents.
Federal funding has already been committed by the previous government for several transit projects throughout the province. The question now is how long it will take for that funding to reach communities, and whether more funding will be available for future plans.
The TransLink Mayors’ Council has released a voters’ guide that breaks down each party’s position. While all but the Conservatives have committed to the council’s call for a permanent transit fund, the Tories say their plan will get shovels in the ground faster and on budget.
Learn more about your riding
You can find more information about your riding and watch the results as they come in at the links below: