Battlegrounds in B.C. could swing the balance of power in election

As polls close across the country Monday evening and the vote tally begins, a handful of tight races in British Columbia could determine which party seizes power, or whether Canada will have a minority or majority government.

In Vancouver-Granville, incumbent Jody Wilson-Raybould – a one-time Liberal cabinet minister – chose not to seek re-election, opening the door for a tight, three-way race between the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP.

“For so many years, you do student votes and it doesn’t count,” said post-secondary student Shira Rubinoff, who voted in advance polls to take part in a federal election for the first time.

“Now, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I guess my vote means something.’”

Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed finished second behind Wilson-Raybould in the 2019 race and is running again.

He has faced controversy on the campaign trail after it came to light he bought or sold 30 residential properties in the last decade, 14 of which were sold within a year of their purchase dates.

Those transactions meet the criteria for an “anti-flipping” tax proposed by the Liberals.

Lawyer Kailin Che is running under the Conservative banner, and self-described climate-activist Anjali Appadurai is on the ticket for the NDP.

A handful of other Metro Vancouver ridings that have been close in the recent past appear headed for photo finishes again.

“Two of the closest outcomes in the last election will be close this time as well: Port Moody-Coquitlam and Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam. Very tight races there, hard to know how they’re going to go,” said Hamish Telford, a political scientist and associate professor at the University of the Fraser Valley.

“The NDP is targeting heavily Burnaby-North Seymour. That’s one they would really like to pick up.”

In most federal elections, a winner is declared before most votes on the West Coast are even counted, but with such a close race predicted this time, the rest of the nation may need to turn its eyes to B.C. ridings to find out who holds the balance of power.

"In some of these very close ridings like Port Moody-Coquitlam that were decided by a couple of hundred votes, we’re going to have to wait for the mail-in ballots to be counted in the next couple of days after Monday,” Telford said.

If the People’s Party of Canada performs well, it could play spoiler in some tight races, potentially drawing support from the Conservatives.

Meanwhile, the Green Party will be hoping to exceed expectations and pull a share of the progressive vote.

Canadians can turn to CTV News for comprehensive coverage of the results as Chief Anchor Lisa LaFlamme hosts a live election special beginning at 3:30 p.m. PT.