“I’m a little tired and excited and humbled and a whole bunch of emotions all at once,” said Rustad.
Voters all over B.C. have elected a Liberal majority for the second year in a row after the province’s 40th Provincial Election. The Liberals managed 44.4 per cent of the vote and took 50 seats keeping Liberal leader Christy Clark as premier.
Pre-election polls were all predicting a victory for Adrian Dix of the NDP so observers were stunned Tuesday night by the Liberal’s victory in B.C. although the NDP were not far behind with 39 per cent of the vote and 33 seats. A map of B.C. ridings will show that although the Liberals took the majority, the entire coastline of B.C. is NDP.
“I thought last night was going to be a very tight race,” said Rustad. “But I was pleasantly surprised over how the results went over the course of the evening.”
After winning 54 per cent of the votes, Rustad describes it as “a humbling experience” and plans to continue campaigning on behalf of the North, in particular making sure the lumber mills have lots of timber to work with.
“My number one priority is the mid-term timber supply and what we need to do along that front to secure wood for our mills in Nechako lakes as well as throughout the pine beetle impacted area.”
When asked about the recent Greyhound cuts affecting Vanderhoof, Rustad wanted to assure residents that they have been working on it.
“We were working with greyhound before the election to try to find ways to make sure that all communities are still served,” he said. “Ultimately greyhound is a private enterprise and they need to make decisions but certainly I’m going to be advocating for the best services we can throughout our corridor.”
As for Rustad’s immediate plans, “today I’m taking down signs,” he said. “I’ve got a number of things to do this week in terms of closing off the last four years and planning for the next four. And then, I’m going to take a weeks holiday.”
Rustad has said that Leader Christy Clark poured her heart into the campaign and conveyed her vision for B.C. to which voters responded wholeheartedly.
Although Premier Clark remains leader of the Liberal party, she no longer holds any seat in legislature having lost her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey riding. What this means is that she must run in a by-election in a safe Liberal riding, which would involve asking the Liberal elected to step down and allow Clark to run in their place.
Any Liberal who gave up their spot for Clark would be reasonably compensated. A position in the senate is available for B.C. perhaps that seat will be reasonable compensation.