News / Vancouver

Meet the B.C. election’s rookie MLAs

Newcomers include a Dragons’ Den contestant, truck driver and army reservist, field hockey champion, a TV news personality, flight attendant.

Adam Olsen, one of the new B.C. MLAs elected May 9, 2017, appears on CBC's Dragons' Den on Jan. 13, 2013 with his family's hand-knit clothing company.

Supplied/CBC

Adam Olsen, one of the new B.C. MLAs elected May 9, 2017, appears on CBC's Dragons' Den on Jan. 13, 2013 with his family's hand-knit clothing company.

Regardless of the outcome after Elections B.C. counts roughly 175,000 absentee ballots May 22 to 24, a few of Tuesday’s wins are for certain — and the Legislature will see a new fresh faces when it sits again.

While we await the final seat count, here are a few of the newest MLAs elected from three parties:

The truck driver

Dan Davies (Peace River North)

The B.C. Liberal candidate is also a part-time truck driver who has served as a Canadian Forces reservist for 22 years. He’s also been a Fort St. John city councillor since 2005, grew up in the Peace Region, and won Queens Diamond Jubilee medal.

The field hockey champion

Ravi Kahlon (Delta North)

The newest New Democrat apparently thrives in a competitive environment. At 37, the former banker’s a two-time Olympic field hockey player, won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games, and competed at every level of sport in the world.

The TV reporter

Jas Johal (Richmond-Queensborough)

After starting in journalism at CKNW radio, he was a high-profile Global News TV reporter for more than 20 years and won top journalism awards before jumping to the B.C. LNG Alliance in 2014. He won his first foray into politics, while the other former Global TV personality running with the B.C. Liberals this year, Steve Darling, didn’t make the cut.

The flight attendant

Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows)

The Air Transat employee has soared to new heights with her B.C. NDP win, after years sitting on her local school board. She’s also been a vice-president of her flight attendants’ union, and formerly headed up the Vancouver Chapter of Women in Aviation.

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The Dragons’ Den contestant

Adam Olsen (Saanich North-The Islands)

The Green Party B.C.’s former leader and two-term Central Saanich city councilor hails from Tsartlip First Nation, where he said his grandmother taught him “it was our responsibility to look after our place—the WSANEC territory,” according to his campaign website. He’s been a vocal opponent of a proposed liquefied natural gas plant near Mill Bay. He co-owns his family’s hand-made wool clothing business — even competing on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2013, when he convinced Kevin O’Leary to shear a sheep on TV. But in the end, O’Leary said he “couldn’t baaack” Olsen’s company.

The activist

Sonia Furstenau (Cowichan Valley)

As leader of Save Shawnigan Water Community Action Group, the former high school teacher is best known for helping spearhead the successful activist campaign against a contaminated soil dump near Shawnigan Lake, which the province approved in 2013 but then halted this year. She was a director of Cowichan Valley Regional District and on the board of a micro-lending non-profit, Oikocredit Canada.

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