NDP candidate Gord Johns is on track to be re-elected as Courtenay-Alberni MP.

As of noon today, Johns had garnered over 27 thousand votes.

That gives him a healthy lead on second place Conservative Mary Lee, who had just under 19 thousand 700 votes.

(No results will be final until all the special ballots are counted.)

If elected, Johns says he hopes to continue the NDP’s work in parliament.

Johns isn’t claiming victory just yet. He says they’re still waiting for votes to be counted and every vote matters, and every constituent matters.

“We’re still waiting for the results to come in to finalize things but right now, I’m just so honoured and grateful for the support that I have received and so grateful for the campaign that we ran, about bringing forward solutions,” he added. “My campaign team and the amazing volunteers who showed up, (I’m) just grateful for their hard work under difficult circumstances during this pandemic.”

He said nobody wanted this election but at the same time realizes that “our work isn’t done. We have a lot of work to do.”

“Especially for the people in Courtenay-Alberni, about protecting our coast and tackling climate change and real reconciliation with First Nations, and for seniors and those who are at risk of overdose and for those that deserve improved long-term care for young people who have been burdened with education debt or looking for good-paying jobs,” Johns explained. “And obviously the housing (affordability) crisis has spiraled out of control. So this is what we’ve fought for over the past 36 days. We’re successful and really grateful to the voters of Courtenay-Alberni for putting their confidence back in me.”

Johns promised that the federal NDP will hold the minority Liberal government to account, on the key issues.

“Everything we do moving forward, and what we showed and demonstrated during the pandemic in a minority government situation is we put people at the centre of all of our decision-making, at the centre of all of the policies and things we are working hard for, and, of course, protection of the environment. People can expect the same. We are going to be making sure the government takes action on the things that we put forward in this campaign.”

He added, “We want to make it very clear that we want to tackle inequality, and make life more affordable, and treat the climate emergency for the emergency it is, and the overdose crisis, build affordable housing so people can have a safe, secure place to live, and respond to the COVID emergency in a way that’s going to help improve the lives of Canadians, whether it be affordable childcare, Pharmacare, dental care.. And of course, mental health.” 

Johns also said that, if elected to a third term, he will work hard to bring his constituents’ voices back to parliament.

“Now that the election’s done, it’s time to get back to work and represent everybody, regardless of their decisions and how they voted.”

He says he can’t say enough about his political opponents and the honourable, “well-fought” campaigns on important issues and priorities. 

“I know the commitment and courage that it really takes to stand for public office and I admire each of them for their willingness to do so and their families and supporters for all of their hard work.”

Personally, Johns thanked his three children for their sacrifice and their love and understanding.

“I’m excited to get back to work,” Johns concluded. “Getting sworn back in, in two weeks time and as soon as I do, I’ll be hitting the ground running and everyone can expect that.”