Updated: Lorne Doerkson elected in Cariboo Chilcotin in preliminary results

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerskson of the BC Liberal Party and his partner Shelley Wiese celebrate at his campaign office in downtown Williams Lake Oct. 24. Doerkson has been elected as the new MLA in Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Angie Mindus photo)Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerskson of the BC Liberal Party and his partner Shelley Wiese celebrate at his campaign office in downtown Williams Lake Oct. 24. Doerkson has been elected as the new MLA in Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Angie Mindus photo)
Former Liberal MLA Donna Barnett passed the torch to Liberal MLA elect Loerne Doerkson this weekend as the longtime Cariboo advocate retired from polis this year. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
(Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The Liberals retained their seat in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Saturday, with Lorne Doerkson nearly doubling the number of votes of his nearest competition to take the torch from outgoing MLA Donna Barnett.

Doerkson, who won 52.63 per cent of the vote with 2,013 out of 3,825 confirmed counted votes, appeared visibly shocked by his decisive showing in the polls. Scott Andrews of the NDP won 1,144 votes (29.91 percent), followed by the Greens’ David Laing with 389 votes (10.17 percent), Independent Katya Potekhina with 198 votes (5.18 percent) and Libertarian James Buckley, who won 81 votes (2.12 percent).

“I am pretty excited,” Doerkson said Tuesday. “Nov. 16 is obviously a big day because that’s when we’ll know the official outcome of the election and then we’ll also know when we are going to get sworn in so we can get busy and get down to work.”

Doerkson, who watched the results come in at his campaign office in Williams Lake, along with his partner Shelley Wiese and co-campaign manager Bryan Withage, said he will work hard for the riding and all its residents, citing land use and access, long-term care for seniors and lack of available childcare as the top issues for the Cariboo Chilcotin.

“I am sincere when I say that I want to represent everybody in the riding and I think the thing we have to focus on out there more than anything is conversation. When two parties are not talking how much do you expect to get done,” he said. “I’m going to work hard to build a relationship with those folks that I can help. For me, anything I can do for the community is a plus.”

Barnett, who backed Doerkson as her successor, said he is “dedicated person” and she intends to mentor Doerkson as he navigates the political scene. In the passing of the torch, Lorne gave Barnett a night at the Chilcotin Lodge for a much needed break, saying she was crucial in getting him to run.

“She was pretty tenacious about the whole thing, and so were others,” he said, noting people told him he was ‘made for the role.’

READ MORE: Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart holds narrow lead over Aaron Sumexheltza of NDP

“I felt pretty humbled by that. To be honest, in the end I thought ‘maybe I am made for this.’ I love community service. I love the feeling of helping somebody, and I’m attracted to that, so I excited about it.”

Barnett, who held stints as the mayor of the District of 100 Mile House and MLA since 2009, said “it’ll be an exciting new time for Lorne and an exciting for me to see new energy coming to the riding.”

She said she also never intended to get into politics but was “talked into it” by members of the community. And while it was frustrating at times, she said overall it has been rewarding, especially with accomplishments such as Millsite Lodge and Fischer Place, and providing one-on-one support to individuals.

“I loved every minute, all the challenges,” she said. “When people ask you to do it and there’s a lot of support and help out, it’s not so hard. At times it’s frustrating but it has been rewarding in many, many aspects. I’ve had some good accomplishments and met some amazing people.

“It’s been a great experience and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to do it.”

While’s she’s stepping down from politics, she’s not getting out completely, Barnett said. There are things she would like to help Doerkson achieve, especially in an NDP majority government. “Our opposition is going to have to be very, very strong,” she said.

Beyond helping Doerkson and clearing out her desk, Barnett said she has no further plans. While she had intended to retire from politics in 2021 and travel the world – Germany, Africa, New Zealand, New Orleans and Mexico were on her list – the pandemic put a halt to that.

“It’ll be a long time before I go to the United States or anywhere else for that matter,” she said. “We’re probably safest right here in 100 Mile, or the Cariboo.”

With files from Angie Mindus


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

Yunesit’in Chief Lennon Solomon signs a memorandum of understanding with COS Insp. Len Butler. The five-year agreement was signed outside the Tsilhqot’in National Government in downtown Williams Lake on Nov. 30. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in Government, Conservation Officer Service team up to address illegal moose hunting

Protection of moose a key focus of recently signed memorandum of understanding

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Clinton fire hall, date unknown. Photo credit: Submitted
Clinton Volunteer Fire Department seeks funding for gear, equipment

More equipment needed after successful recruitment drive.

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Most Read