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Saanich-Gulf Islands: Greens' Elizabeth May well ahead of challengers

The Greens’ Elizabeth May was far ahead of her Conservative and NDP rivals in Saanich-Gulf Islands Monday night, on her way to her fourth term office. May was about 7,500 votes ahead of Conservative David Busch with 230 of 236 polls reporting.
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Saanich-Gulf Islands Green Party candidate Elizabeth May on Monday. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The Greens’ Elizabeth May was far ahead of her Conservative and NDP rivals in Saanich-Gulf Islands Monday night, on her way to her fourth term office.

May was about 7,500 votes ahead of Conservative David Busch with 230 of 236 polls reporting.

However, there are still the mail-in ballots still be counted. The riding had the secondhighest number of mail-in ballots requested in the country, with 10,457. Those will be opened Tuesday and verified before being counted.

Elections Canada has warned that results may not be known in some ridings until Friday.

“My constituents know how hard I work for them, but I also know how much I owe them for their willingness to continue to take a chance on a Green member of Parliament, knowing I won’t be in a majority government, knowing I won’t be what the Conservative candidate kept saying during this election campaign, that without a seat at the table, in government, you couldn’t accomplish anything,” May said Monday night.

The former Green Party leader, first elected in 2011, was disappointed that a party that has run a full slate of candidates in past elections wasn’t able to do so this time amid a climate crisis.

“I think as a party, we’re run by our membership so the members will be wanting to have a review of what happened in preparation,” said May.

New party leader Annamie Paul lost her run in the Ontario riding of Toronto Centre on Monday night. Paul congratulated May on her win.

May said Paul chose a challenging riding in which to run, a Liberal stronghold, but conceded it’s where she was born and has deep roots.

“The questions of Annamie’s future are really up to Annamie,” said May. “She needs to reflect as well. I mean it’s a very disappointing defeat for her in Toronto Centre and she’ll need to think about her political future, but the party is really strong. We’re here to stay.”

May said the Liberals took a gamble in this “power grab” election and she is “really relieved” they didn’t get a majority.

“A majority parliament with the Liberals feeling smug would be very bad for climate, but a minority parliament where they go back chastened — and I’m afraid it means going back to the polls again — means we will stay in parliament and we will push as hard as we can and work across party lines, and see if what we can deliver on the timelines we have, which are vanishingly short,” she said.