North Vancouver elected Jonathan Wilkinson as MP in this year’s Federal Election, the first Liberal win in the district since 2006.
Wilkinson, a past CEO of numerous green technology firms, including QuestAir Technologies and BioteQ Environmental Technologies, ran for his first political seat on October 19 and won with 56.7% of the vote; taking the riding back from Conservative Andrew Saxton who had won in both 2008 and 2011.
Interestingly, North Vancouver had the highest voter turnout of any Metro Vancouver region with 76% meaning Wilkinson’s win was a powerful nod to democracy. Even more, no candidate had ever been elected in that riding with as many votes as Wilkinson achieved last week.
With only one week left until Prime Minister-delegate Justin Trudeau announces his cabinet and Parliament goes into session, Vancity Buzz checked in with Jonathan Wilkinson to see what his plans are in Ottawa:
What pushed you to want to enter politics and run this year in North Van?
Five words: I wanted our Canada back. I was dismayed and alarmed by the direction Stephen Harper was steering this country, down a path that was fundamentally at odds with the values that built this country.
What have your constituents told you are the biggest issues in your riding that you plan to tackle in Ottawa?
Affordable housing, traffic congestion and the need for improved public transit, climate change, balancing economic development with environmental protection and democratic reform.
What will be the first issue you tackle in your new role?
With the Paris conference on climate change next month, getting Canada back to being taken seriously as a player in the fight against global warming will clearly be a priority for the government and myself. Locally, I want to see what can be done to accelerate a comprehensive approach to dealing with congestion, which has long since passed all levels of tolerability.
How did it feel to be the one to put North Van back into Liberal territory after being Conservative for so long?
It was, of course, not one individual but the people of North Vancouver who voted for a Liberal to represent our community in Ottawa. It was also the product of the effort of our large volunteer team. This work included a year long campaign going door-to-door to talk to as many North Vancouver residents as possible about the need for change.
I’m thrilled that North Vancouver had one of the highest voter turnouts in B.C. This community is highly engaged and rightly has high expectations for their new MP and for the new government. Now the real work begins.