- New West Anchor
- New West elects Community First to lead school board
New West elects Community First to lead school board
All of its slate's candidates were successful, while just one of three Progressives candidates was elected
Members of the Community First slate watch as results from the Oct. 15 election roll in. / Dustin Godfrey, New West Anchor
New Westminster’s school board will once again be dominated by a progressive slate of candidates.
In fact, no incumbents running in this election lost their seats.
The seven-person board will seat six trustees from the progressive Community First slate and one trustee from the centre-right Progressives slate.
Danielle Connelly* of the Progressives (8,703 votes) will join Maya Russell* (8,785), Marc Andres (8,720), Dee Beattie* (8,526), Cheryl Sluis (8,160), Gurveen Dhaliwal* (7,953), and Elliott Slinn (7,756) on school board this term. (*incumbent)
Dhaliwal, who served two of the last four years as chair of the school board, said she was proud to see the whole Community First slate elected to school board.
Russell, who topped the polls yesterday, said she felt that the results of the election affirmed the work of the last four years.
In particular, she pointed to the school district’s “leadership on issues around sanctuary schools.”
“That’s one cause that is really close to my heart, where I feel like … as a district, we’ve shown leadership,” she said.
“Maybe that strikes a chord with people—I don’t know. But I hope that that encourages other school districts to open their doors to children with precarious immigration statuses.”
The school district also led the province on the “period promise” campaign, being the first in BC to offer free menstrual products to students.
As for any causes moving forward, she didn’t offer specifics but said the district will need to meet the needs of a city that’s quickly gaining more and more young families.
She said topping the polls was “humbling,” adding: “It’s always hard to know where these things come from. But yeah, we all worked really hard. I’m just very grateful.”
The campaign was broadly calm, particularly compared to local campaigns in Vancouver and Surrey. But in the last week, Dhaliwal faced allegations that she broke election rules by scrutineering in advance polling. Candidates are not allowed to act as scrutineers.
Dhaliwal said she believed the matter was put to rest the day it became public, with the city’s elections officials opting not to pursue any reprimands.
She said she didn’t believe the issue impacted her results in the election and declined to comment further on the matter.
In a previous statement, New West Police told New West Anchor it is still looking into what happened.