Bains, Virk Among Three South Asian Winners


According to pollsters and political pundits, NDP were supposed to win these Provincial Elections and in Surrey and elsewhere South Asian candidates in the fray were supposed to do well. But even that did not happen.

In all, only three South Asian candidates won — Harry Bains (Surrey-Newton), Amrik Virk (Surrey-Tynehead) and Raj Chouhan (Burnaby-Edmonds).

In some ridings it was a direct contest between two South Asian candidates. In Surrey-Newton NDP’s Harry Bains won easily against Liberal Sukminder Singh. And in Surrey-Tynehead it was again a direct contest between two South Asian candidates in which Liberal Amrik Virk beat NDP’s Avtar Bains.

At other places, NDP’s Jagrup Brar lost to Liberal candidate Peter Fassbender in Surrey-Fleetwood. In Surrey-Panorma, NDP’s Amrik Mahil lost to Liberal Marvin Hunt. In Surrey-Green Timbers, Liberal Amrik Tung lost to NDP’s Sue Hammell.

Even in Abbotsford, South Asian candidates Lakhwinder Jhaj, Preet Rai and Sukhi Dhammi lost. In Surrey-Cloverdale another South Asian candidate NDP’s Harry Kooner lost to Liberal Stephanie Cadieux.

Apart from Bains and Virk, the other South Asian candidate to win was NDP’s Raj Chouhan in Burnaby.

Raj Chouhan retained Burnaby-Edmonds by polling 7,897 votes, his fellow partyman Harry Lali lost in Fraser-Nicola to Jackie Tegart of Liberal Party. Lali got 4,785 votes as against 5,539 polled by Tegart.

In Surrey-Whalley Liberal candidate Kuljeet Kaur lost to NDP’s Bruce Ralston.

For the Liberals, experienced MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Gordon Hogg as well as big-name newcomers like Marvin Hunt and Fassbender carried the party to victory in Surrey.

Hunt, a veteran Surrey councillor clinched a resounding victory for the Liberals in Surrey-Panorama.

Cadieux, who holds the portfolio for Children and Family Development, won 58 per cent of the vote in Surrey-Cloverdale — a hefty lead over contender Harry Kooner of the NDP party, who got 30 per cent.

Before election day, Surrey was split down the middle with both the Liberals and New Democrats holding four seats each.

Cadieux had moved to the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale vacated by former cabinet minister Kevin Falcon.

In Surrey-Fleetwood, it was a tight race between NDP incumbent Jagrup Brar and city of Langley mayor Peter Fassbender, with Fassbender winning by less than 300 votes.

In Surrey-Tynehead, newcomer Amrik Virk secured a seat, with 50 per cent of the vote compared to his nearest rival NDP Avtar Bains, with 37 per cent, with less than 20 ballot boxes remaining.

Virk, a Langley RCMP inspector who has a 26-year career in policing, took a three-month leave without pay from the force to run for political office.

He takes over from former Liberal MLA Dave Hayer, who won in 2009 by a slim majority of about 1,500 votes but decided not to run this year.

NDP’s Amrik Mahil who lost to Hunt in Surrey-Panorama told the Voice, “This is quite unexpected,” he said of the defeat. “I can’t understand my riding. I really don’t know what happened.”

Both Surrey-Green Timbers and Surrey Whalley — two ridings which overwhelmingly voted to boot out the Liberal-introduced HST— stayed with NDP with MLAs Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston respectively retaining their seats.

In Delta North, Tinku Parmar of the Conservative Party got just 902 votes

In Vancouver ridings, barring one all Indo-Canadian candidates fared badly.
In Vancouver-Kingsway, Gurjit Dhillon (6,090 votes) of the Liberal Party was beaten by NDP leader Adrian Dix (9,376 votes).
In Vancouver-Kensington, Raj Gupta of the Conservative Party polled a mere 519 votes.
In Vancouver-Langara, Gurjidner Bains of the same party bagged just 607 votes.

Barinder Hans of the Green Party came third in Vancouver-Point Grey by getting 2,180 votes.

Gian Sahota (5,542 votes) of the NDP lost to the Liberal Party’s Linda Ried (10,725 votes) in Richmond East.

In the Abbotsford-Mission region where Indo-Canadians make up about one-fifth of the population, no candidate from the community could win.

In Abbotsford-Mission, Preet Rai (4,939 votes) of the NDP was trounced by Simon Gibson (9,565 votes) of the Liberal Party.

In Abbotsford South, Lakhvinder Jhaj (3,745 votes) of the NDP lost to Darryl Plecas (8,811 votes) of the Liberal Party.

In Abbotsford West, Sukhi Dhami (4,978 votes) of the NDP was defeated by Michael de Jong (8,645) of the Liberal Party.  Another Indo-Canadian Moe Gill, who contested as an independent, polled 973 votes.

In Saanich South, Rishi Sharma (8,473 votes) of the Liberal Party lost to Lana Popham (10,824 votes ) of the NDP.