The final vote count has been completed in Vancouver-False Creek, upholding BC Liberal incumbent Sam Sullivan’s victory over Morgane Oger of the BC NDP.
“It’s good to get past the uncertainty,” says Oger, who would have been the first openly trans candidate elected to public office in Canada had she won the seat.
In the end, Sullivan received 10,370 votes (42.16 percent of the vote) compared to 9,955 (40.47 percent) for Oger.
Although preliminary results of the May 9 provincial election placed Sullivan ahead by 560 votes — more than the 100-vote margin typically required for an official recount — Elections BC authorized a recount due to an irregularity with one of the riding’s advance voting ballot accounts. The chance for a recount, coupled with the uncounted absentee ballots, created a small window of possibility that maybe the tide might just change in Oger’s favour.
“It’s disappointing I didn’t outrun Sam Sullivan in the end. There was this hope that it might be possible, but adjacent to that was the unlikeliness of it as well,” Oger says.
Still, she says, there is still a lot of good to be taken from the campaign.
“My team and myself, we’ve proven ourselves to be a competitor. That I’m a candidate to be reckoned with,” she says. “I opened up a riding, that was great.”
Oger was one of 15 openly LGBT candidates running with the province’s three main political parties this election, only five of whom — all incumbents — were elected. However, Oger remains undeterred. She says she plans to run in the next election if the NDP’s False Creek constituency chooses to nominate her at that time.
Until then, she plans to continue her advocacy work, returning to her roles as chairperson of both the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council and the Trans Alliance Society.
“I’m going to stay an advocate and I’m going to keep on advocating for my community, whether it’s this community [False Creek] but also the community of parents with kids in Vancouver and the LGBT community at large,” she says.
Oger says she’s hopeful that more new LGBT candidates will be elected next time —and that they’re given opportunities to run in ridings where that’s truly a possibility.
“With this experience I recommend to people who are thinking of getting into politics, to look into it,” she says. “It’s a contribution to society that we need more people. We need more different people than we have in it now.”
Final results are expected in all ridings by the end of day May 24, 2017, barring the possibility of judicial recounts. Going into the final count, the BC Liberals hold 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens 3.