The day after the election and newly re-elected Claire Trevena admits she is exhausted.
“But it’s a good exhausted,” she said.
It wasn’t until after 11 p.m. last night that Trevena stood on a chair in the Labour Hall in Campbell River and made her victory speech, despite various TV stations calling her the winner for almost an hour before that. Waiting for the advance poll results to come in before she claimed her victory, she finally addressed the crowd after defeated Liberal candidate Dallas Smith showed up to shake her hand and concede.
Trevena attributes part of her success to the NDP platform. People liked the fact that we are working on affordability and ensuring people can afford everything from child care going through to post secondary, she said.
“People also like our economic plan,” she added. “They saw what John Horgan and the NDP were offering and they really did get in tune with it.”
Another element of Trevena’s success was her campaign team, she said.
“Unless you have a good team you’re not going to achieve anything,” she explained. “I’ve got to say, the team that I had, whether it was in Campbell River, on any of the islands, or up-Island, people were engaged, they were engaged, they were excited, they really wanted to win. They worked extraordinarily, extraordinarily hard.”
Eugenia Materi was one such volunteer. She said she was on the phone with people the team had met going door to door, encouraging them to go out and vote.
“That’s why I got involved with the NDP, because it’s encouraging people to get involved (in politics) not just vote for their candidate,” she said.
Trevena and her team were out door knocking in all sorts of weather. Trevena said she often heard “I do like you Claire,” and it was either followed by a “but…” or “and I’m going to vote for you.”
“As an incumbent you have that advantage that people have seen your work for a number of years and I’ve had the privilege of representing the communities of the North Island for 12 years now and so people have seen very clearly that I will get up and fight on people’s behalf,” she said.
And now we wait. At the moment the Liberals have 43 seats, the NDP have 41 and the Greens have three. But the absentee votes won’t be tallied until between May 22 and 24.
The Liberals need only one more seat to form a majority government, and in some ridings the absentee vote could change the current outcome. For example in the Courtenay-Comox riding the NDP representative is ahead of the Liberal representative by only nine votes.
“It certainly is going to be interesting,” Trevena said.