Newly elected MLAs John Martin

Tops Stories of 2013: Local Liberals share provincial win

Chilliwack’s brief flirtation with an NDP representative in the legislature ended in dramatic fashion in May.

Chilliwack’s brief flirtation with an NDP representative in the legislature ended in dramatic fashion in May.

Just a year after Gwen O’Mahony won a byelection in the riding of Chilliwack Hope, she lost the seat in a general election that surprised pollsters and pundits across the province.

Liberal wins, both here and elsewhere in B.C., were part of a stunning turnaround that returned Premier Christy Clark to Victoria with a healthy majority government.

But that wasn’t the only surprise.

The announced retirement of longtime MLA John Les had earlier sparked a search by local Liberals for another candidate to run in the Chilliwack riding. They found John Martin – the BC Conservative and touted star candidate who ran against the Liberals in the Chilliwack Hope riding a year earlier. With widespread disaffection in the BC Conservative camp, Martin announced his decision in September of 2012 to join a party he had bitterly campaigned against. “Simply put, I believe there is more that unites us than divides us,” he said at the time.

His NDP opponent, meanwhile, was also not without controversy. Patti MacAhonic sought a temporary leave from her position as executive director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce as she attempted to secure the party’s nomination. When that was refused, she was forced to resign in January.

Laurie Throness, the BC Liberal candidate who lost to O’Mahony in 2012, returned to face her again in 2013. But this time, he’d find more success.

Despite a confident NDP campaign, bolstered by pre-election polling numbers that pointed to a crushing Liberal defeat, Clark and her party romped to a 50-seat majority victory.

That success including Chilliwak-Hope, where Throness captured 9,533 votes, compared with O’Mahony’s 6,884. BC Conservative candidate Michael Henshall was a distant third at 2,093.

In the riding of Chilliwack, Martin cruised to an easy win. Martin garnered 48 per cent of the vote, easily outdistancing by 20 per cent Patti MacAhonic of the NDP.

Said Martin, reflecting his elation election night: “Did we kick some left-wing socialist butt tonight or what?”

Just Posted

Chilliwack RCMP seek ID of man caught by bait car camera

Police say man is wanted for identity theft connected to incident downtown on Feb. 5

Chilliwack court to decide on allowing assistance dog to sit with sex assault witness

Yellow lab Caber helps calm people in crisis, in police interviews and in courthouse appearances

Chilliwack Special Olympics launches into spring season

Bocce ball, soccer, softball and golf highlight the offerings for 87-plus local athletes.

Rupert the Bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Local rock hound carves a 9-tonne granite grizzly bear

Chilliwack’s Paul McCarl’s about to complete a carving project 14 years in the making

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Vaping device overheats, burns down home on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo Fire Rescue says units could cause fires in other homes and even aircraft

LinkedIn: Top 25 places to work in Canada

LinkedIn has compiled a list of the top companies to work for in 2018

Most Read