A Vote For Change

By November 16, 2014Municipal Politics

As expected, voter turnout was higher than ever and it was the races for council seats which were uppermost in voters’ minds.

The mayoralty race was tight with Henry Braun surpassing his 15,649 votes as a councillor in 2011 taking the mayoralty with 16,171 votes in 2014.

Banman, who won in 2011 with 13,837 votes garnered 15,594 votes in 2014.

In what turned out to be a bloodbath for some incumbents, the councillor races proved to be the ones which drove the turnout.

Elected to Abbotsford Council were the following:

Patricia Ross 14,852
Les Barkman 11,955
Moe Gill 11,459
Ross Siemens 11,255
Brenda Falk 10,649
Dave Loewen 10,419
Kelly Chahal 9.698
Sandy Blue 9,614

Among the surprises:

Patricia Ross lost a significant amount of support from 2011 when she received 19,710 votes. She is still the most popular councillor in Abbotsford despite her diminished vote count.

Les Barkman lost some support compared to 2011 when he he received 12,222 votes.

Both Moe Gill and Dave Loewen surprised with increased support since 2011. Bill MacGregor, who blamed Abbotsford’s high unemployment numbers on Mission and about 250 aboriginal people, dropped from 10,168 to 8,787 and is no longer a councillor.

Vince Dimanno, referred to by many as AbbotsfordFIRST’s ‘star candidate’ saw his numbers drop from 8,306 in 2011 to 6,302 in 2014 after a relentless email and online campaign by Gerda and Richard Peachey calling into question his character because of the fact the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association, has not been registered as a society with the provincial government for a couple of years.

Dimanno, co-owner of Abbotsford Today, was also forced, along with Mike Archer, to apologize for a satirical post made by Archer on the website about candidate Lyle Caldwell. Along with the Gerda Peachey attacks it was the only coverage of Dimanno in the Abbotsford News during the election.

Four newcomers from the AbbotsfordFIRST slate did manage to get elected and, with a new Mayor in Henry Braun, politics is likely to change significantly on some pretty major issues in Abbotsford such as homelessness, economic development, and the much promised openness and transparency of local government.

It remains to be seen whether the group of local business people and powerbrokers referred to several times during the election by both Henry Braun and the AbbotsfordFIRST team will retain their privilieged positions in the powerful committee system and in the hallways of City Hall.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Observation says:

    So while four incumbents have been re-elected to Council they are the biggest losers indeed–except for Moe Gill whose votes went up–as the former three have lost votes since the 2011 Civic election. The number of votes garnered by the following incumbents in 2011 vs 2014:

    Patricia Ross 2011: 19,710
    Patricia Ross 2014: 14,852

    Les Barkman 2011:12,222
    Les Barkman 2014 11,955

    Dave Loewen 2011 10,410
    Dave Loewen 2014 9,868

    Moe Gill 2011: 9686
    Moe Gill 2014 11,459

    Source: http://www.elections.civicinfo.bc.ca/2011/reports/electionresults.asp

    The comparative results suggest that Abbotsford has put those incumbents on trial and this just might be their last term.

  • Observation says:

    Oops in my comment above. Dave Lowen’s votes went up as well. So the incumbents two that remain on life support are Barkman and Ross.

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