NEWS

Lisa Helps unseats mayor Dean Fortin by 89 votes in Victoria

11/16/2014 05:54 EST | Updated 01/16/2015 05:59 EST
Lisa Helps was elected the new mayor of Victoria on Saturday night, defeating two-term incumbent Dean Fortin by less than 100 votes.

The city's unofficial election results show Helps received 9,200 votes — or 37.63 per cent of ballots cast — compared to Fortin's 9,111 votes. 

There was some speculation Fortin might ask for a recount having lost by such a slim margin, but Helps told CBC Fortin had already called her to concede.

"We did it with hard work and people power and a few good ideas too," said Helps, when asked about her win.

Helps beat out six other candidates, including Fortin and former Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong, to become the city's second female mayor in its history. Her campaign focused heavily on housing and homelessness.

Voter turnout in Victoria was 39.10 per cent.

Lyn Hall wins in Prince George

One-term city councillor Lyn Hall defeated former three-term councillor Don Zurowski to become the new mayor of Prince George.

Preliminary election results show Hall received 10,463 votes, while Zurowski received only 8,850 votes.

This is the third time in as many races Prince George has elected a new top dog. Out-going mayor Shari Green decided not to run this time around, instead choosing to run for the Conservative party in next year's federal election.

While the mayoral race itself was relatively low-key, the decision over whether to continue fluoridating Prince George's drinking water was deeply divisive.

In 1955, the city became the first in B.C. to add the compound, said to reduce tooth decay, to its public water supply. In recent years, it has become a major point of contention among residents.

In a referendum, voters were asked "Are you in favour of the City of Prince George fluoridating its water supply?" A majority 10,171 people answered "No" compared to 8,764 who said "Yes."

Kelowna elects Colin Basran

Meantime, voters in Kelowna elected Colin Basran as their new mayor.

The city's unofficial election results show the 37-year-old city councillor received 16,888 votes — or 56.70 per cent of ballots cast — compared to runner up Sharon Shepherd with 10,512 votes. 

Basran, who is the youngest member of council, was endorsed by outgoing four-term mayor Walter Gray, who told CBC Daybreak North last March he wanted to travel and spend more time with family.

Kamloops re-elects Peter Milobar in landslide

Over in Kamloops, two-term incumbent Peter Milobar was re-elected in a landslide victory over runner-up Pierre Filisetti.

According to the city, Milobar received 78 per cent, or 17,006, of the total vote compared to Filisetti's 2,941 votes.

One of the biggest issues in the campaign was over the controversial Ajax mine proposal, an open-pit gold and copper mine that would fall within the city limits.

Voter turnout in Kamloops was around 33.14 per cent.

Quesnel votes in new mayor

In Quesnel, voters unseated two-term incumbent mayor Mary Sjostrom in favour of Bob Simpson.

According to CivicInfoBC, the former MLA for B.C's Cariboo-North received 2,128 votes while Sjostrom received only 884 votes.

The city has been plagued by traffic congestion and a declining forestry sector in recent years.

MORE:cbcNews