Tom Shypitka of the BC Liberals is projected to win in Kootenay East.
For 16 years, this riding was held by BC Liberal “Kootenay” Bill Bennett, but when the veteran MLA bowed out in 2017 the party had no trouble holding seat.
In that contest, Shypitka, a former Cranbrook city councillor easily defeated former Fernie Mayor Randal McNair by almost 4,600 votes.
While the NDP has been locked out of the seat for two decades, the party does have a long history of success in the area. An NDP MLA held the seat from 1986-2001, and it was home to CCP and NDP MLA Leo Nimsick from 1949 to 1975.
Former MP for Kootenay—Columbia Wayne Stetski is the sixth former NDP MP to be nominated to run provincial this election. Stetski has deep ties to the community and served as Cranbrook’s mayor from 2011 to 2014.
The BC Greens have nominated Kerri Wall, a family mediator and conflict coach.
The area between Fernie and Cranbrook tends to vote Liberal, while the town centres themselves lean towards the NDP.
- BC Liberals: Tom Shypitka
- BC NDP: Wayne Stetski
- BC Greens: Kerri Wall
Swing riding meter
The BC Liberals have had a lock on Kootenay East for the 21st century, but the NDP have held the riding for lengthy periods in the past.
In 2017 the Liberals won by a sizeable margin of 26.9 per cent. The riding was the 69th closest of 87 races across the province and the 32nd closest of the 43 ridings the Liberals won.
2017 election results
- BC Liberal: Tom Shypitka — 9,666 votes (56.57%)
- BC NDP: Randal Macnair — 5,070 votes (29.67%)
- BC Greens: Yvonne Prest — 1,926 votes (11.27%)
- Libertarian: Keith Komar — 425 votes (2.49%)
This profile will continually be updated to reflect latest information, interviews and events in the campaign.
Find full B.C. 2020 provincial election coverage here.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots were requested across B.C. this election. As mail-in ballots cannot be counted until after election night, these results are not final.