News / Vancouver

Liberal cabinet ministers suffer from ‘revenge vote’ in Metro Vancouver

Cabinet ministers Suzanne Anton, Peter Fassbender, Naomi Yamamoto and Amrik Virk lose their seats as BC Liberals fail to maintain support in Metro Vancouver.

Peter Fassbender is one of four Liberal cabinet ministers to lose their seat in the Lower Mainland in the 2017 B.C. election.

Matt Kieltyka/Metro File

Peter Fassbender is one of four Liberal cabinet ministers to lose their seat in the Lower Mainland in the 2017 B.C. election.

Four BC Liberal cabinet ministers paid for a voter backlash in Metro Vancouver on election night.

While the final result of the election – which currently looks like a Liberal minority government with the Green Party holding the balance of power – is still up in the air until all votes are counted later this month, the fates of former Attorney General Suzanne Anton, Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto and Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizen’s Services Amrik Virk appear to be sealed.

All four lost their seats – in Vancouver-Fraserview, Surrey-Fleetwood, North Vancouver-Lonsdale and Surrey-Guilford, respectively – to NDP challengers, signaling a bigger trend region-wide.

Simon Fraser University political marketing expert Lindsay Meredith said the high-ranking Liberals paid the price for their party’s poor handling of transit expansion, bridge tolls and housing affordability.

“Much of that was a revenge vote by dissatisfied voters,” said Meredith.

Should the Liberals continue to govern the province, the ousted ministers will be sorely missed.

“That’s a lot of background and a lot of experience so losing good cabinet ministers anytime is going to hurt you,” he said. “Is there an inequity of brain power? You damn right there is. You lose depth in your management team and you’ve got a problem. [Christy Clark] is going to have to pay that price because there is going to be a lot of catch up going on.”

The Liberal brain drain was further amplified earlier as Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennet and Minister of Health Terry Lake decided to not run in this election.

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