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McIntyre re-takes Sea to Sky

Incumbent attributes win to focus on economy



Liberal MLA Joan McIntyre is a "very happy lady" after winning a second mandate to represent the residents of the Sea to Sky corridor in B.C.'s legislature.

McIntyre, the incumbent MLA for the now-defunct riding of West Vancouver-Garibaldi, will serve her second term in government as the inaugural MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky after winning 9,512 votes and 54 per cent of the vote - miles ahead of her challengers from the Green Party and the NDP.

The Liberal Party, under Gordon Campbell, will also form another majority government.

Reached at her campaign office on Tuesday night, McIntyre was ecstatic at the results.

"I've said to several people that this election was a lot more about the four years as an MLA than the four-week campaign," she said. "This is the first time I was running as an incumbent, for me this was definitely about my term."

The results were also surprising since the provincial boundaries were re-drawn before the election. The creation of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky shaved approximately 4,000 potential voters off the new riding.

"I topped my vote (share) and so I'm very happy," she said as results continued to roll in. "The riding distribution did not favour me at all. I'm almost at 8,000 votes it appears."

McIntyre's vote count did indeed come in thinner than in the 2005 election, where she got 11,090 votes and 50.78 per cent, likely owing to a lower population. But she did improve her share of the vote this time around.

In the 2005 race Green candidate Dennis Perry came in second with 5,778 votes and 26.46 per cent of the votes cast, the biggest turnout for any Green candidate in the province.

This year, NDP candidate and Horseshoe Bay resident Juliana Buitenhuis placed second in the race, garnering 4,001 votes and just over 23 per cent of the vote as of Tuesday night.

A counsellor who works with Squamish Nation youth, Buitenhuis was pleased with coming in at second place.

"I made some leaps and bounds from the last election," she said. "I came ahead of the Green guy, although he wasn't really my competition. My competition was Joan McIntyre."

Throughout the campaign in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky she focused on Bill 30, an amendment to the Utilities Commission Act that kept local governments from having a veto over the installation of public utilities. She also focused her attacks on the carbon tax, saying repeatedly that it pawned an unfair cost on to school districts.

Asked whether she'd run in another election she said "definitely," but wasn't sure whether she'd run federally or provincially.