Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

B.C. VOTES 2020: NDP takes Vernon-Monashee for the first time since the 1980s

Vernon’s Harwinder Sandhu of the NDP unseats three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster

For Harwinder Sandhu’s daughter’s birthday, the best gift came after lunch.

Sandhu, running for the NDP, was officially elected as Vernon-Monashee MLA Sunday, Nov. 8, after mail-in and absentee ballots were counted over two-and-a-half days.

The Vernon nurse garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who collected 9,798 votes, a difference of 424 votes. Sandhu becomes the first NDP candidate to win the riding since the 1980s. She had trailed Foster by 182 votes at the end of election night, Oct. 24.

The result came on her daughter Jasreen’s 14th birthday.

“This has been a week of mixed emotions because Nov. 6 was the 10th anniversary of my first husband’s death, Jasreen turned four just two days after it, but to win on her birthday, she said that was the biggest gift of all,” said Sandhu from her home. She was so busy accepting congratulations that she missed a call to her cell phone from NDP Premier John Horgan.

Her first call of congratulations came from a gracious Foster.

“We had a great talk,” said Sandhu. “I thanked him for his years of service. I want to work with him to get this feedback and he’s got so much experience. He gave me some advice about how hard the job can be for people with young families.”

Working in the healthcare profession, she said, will prepare her for her new role in Victoria.

“In healthcare, you walk into the unpredictable every day,” said Sandhu. “You hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to making Vernon-Monashee proud for everybody, not just those who voted for me.”

Horgan phoned Sandhu election night and got an earful about issues in the riding.

“He said how proud he was of our team and how the voting showed that people could see potential in us. We had a great conversation,” said Sandhu.

Foster was upbeat but understandably disappointed when contacted after the result.

“I’m OK,” he said. “It’s always unfortunate when you don’t cross the finish line in first place. But Harwinder did a great job and she’ll do a great job in Victoria. I wish her nothing but the best. It will be an exciting next four years.”

Asked about his future, Foster said he will go to Victoria and clean out his office and apartment, then return to his home in Lumby that he shares with his wife, Janice.

“I’ll sit down and put my feet up for a bit but we are going to be involved in the community,” he said. “We’re not going to hide in our backyard.”

Green Party candidate Keli Westgate finished third in the riding with 4,464 votes while Conservative Kyle Delfing was fourth with 3,472 votes.

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES 2020: The latest results as mail-in ballot counts continue



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Vernon nurse Harwinder Sandhu has been elected as MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

In a stunning upset, Sandhu garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who finished with 9,798 votes. It’s the first time the riding has elected an NDP member to the Legislature in Victoria since the 1980s.

Foster had a 182 vote lead at the end of election night Saturday, Oct. 24, with mail-in and absentee ballots still to be counted.

Those votes were checked over the past three days.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Snowfall warnings Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 for parts of the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Chilliwack Progress)
Winter storm warnings Thursday for Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Snow is expected to become heavier as day progresses with snowfall amounts of up to 30 centimetres

A team with Ann Davis Transition Society takes part in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser as they walk along Young Road on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
‘Coldest Night’ walk raises nearly $60,000 for new Ann Davis outreach office in Chilliwack

Ann Davis Transition Society thrift shop will be transformed into much needed outreach centre

The University of the Fraser Valley Peace and Reconciliation Centre
UFV students hold online forum on peace and reconciliation

Two online sessions on Feb. 25 include student research

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
EDITORIAL: We shouldn’t have to have a Pink Shirt Day, but we do

‘Children are a product of their environment’

Lucas Frost at the trailhead of Teapot Hill. (Lucas Frost)
Hiking Teapot Hill for organization that helps homeless youth in Chilliwack

Lucas Frost hopes his hiking fundraiser for Cyrus Centre will help get some kids off the street

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Head of internal medicine at Chilliwack General Hospital Dr. Shari Sajjadi talks about the positive feedback hospital staff have received over this last year in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Dr. Shari Sajjadi says a simple ‘thank you’ helps keep up spirits of healthcare workers

‘We are so thankful for the positive feedback we are getting from our patients’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Most Read