As one of the longest election campaigns in more than a century drew to a thundering end Monday night, some wonder how the crown will be split between the local New Democrats and the Liberals all the way to Ottawa.
Mayor Maja Tait said she’s pleased with the outcome, recognizing the effort put forward by all candidates.
“I would like to thank all the candidates who put their names forward in our riding, and congratulations to Randall Garrison, I still look forward to working with him,” she said.
Tait pointed out there may be some concern within the local community of being an NDP riding in a Liberal government, but she said she is optimistic about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s idea of working together across party lines and that Sooke, and indeed the Island, won’t be left behind.
Overall, she feels Trudeau’s recognition of B.C.’s issues in the House of Commons is a step forward, which leaves her feeling optimistic of what’s in store next.
“I think hope has been renewed and there is optimism about the future, and that’s exciting,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes, if not, we’ll hold his [Trudeau’s] feet to the fire in four years time.”
And while the dust is still settling, Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce president Sean Dyble believes the new government’s commitments to lowering small business taxes and employment insurance premiums will help Sooke and its businesses.
In addition to investing in local business, Dyble also hopes the Liberals’ commitment to fund greener communities also comes to fruition.
“I think we have in Sooke a small green technology hub developing with a few different companies, with the T-Souke First Nation and solar power, and wind power, and ocean power, that will all benefit us a lot in Sooke,” he said.
“This new government has set some pretty high expectations and I think over the next few months or even years we’ll hopefully find out that much of what they’ve committed to comes to fruition.”
Rick Kasper, who serves on Sooke council and was a B.C. MLA for two terms, said that while the new majority government is strong, it’s still important for the Sooke community to approach the federal government for assistance under the new proposed infrastructure program.
“I think that’s a benefit not only to Sooke, but the rest of people in the Capital Region,” he said.
In the end, he hopes the new government works in partnership and is there for Sooke as well as the rest of the Vancouver Island communities.