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Dave Sidhu wins Abbotsford city council byelection

Sidhu collects 7,829 votes to eclipse the competition by a large amount

Dave Sidhu has now earned a seat on Abbotsford city council.

Sidhu ran away with the byelection and beat out eight other competitors earning a total of 7,829 votes.

In second place was Korky Neufeld (2,448) and in third place was Manjit Sohi (2,302).

The other vote totals collected by candidates included: Dao Tran (1,346), Tom Norton (1,226), David McLauren (935), Aird Flavelle (834), Dan Dennill (755) and Gerda Peachey (553).

Sidhu said he is thrilled with the win.

“Thank you Abbotsford for your overwhelming support in this by-election,” he shared in a statement to The News. “I am so humbled and honoured to have received so much support from every corner of Abbotsford. Our team worked incredibly hard and although we were cautiously optimistic, this result was beyond what we imagined and shows what we can accomplish when we all work together.”

He went on to thank his supporters, campaign volunteers and his family for their efforts to achieve his goal. Sidhu will remain in the seat until Oct. 2022, when the regularly scheduled municipal election is set to occur.

A unofficial total of 18,128 votes were cast, and based on a reported 97,500 registered voters that is a turnout of roughly 18.6 per cent. That number is higher than recent turnouts for byelections in Burnaby (8.4) and Richmond (10).

Results were posted at around 11:40 p.m., as it took the city of Abbotsford three hours and 40 minutes to tabulate the results.

The length of time the city of Abbotsford took to post caused some frustration for those following online, including Flavelle.

Sidhu now joins Mayor Henry Braun and fellow councillors Les Barkman, Sandy Blue, Kelly Chahal, Brenda Falk, Dave Loewen, Patricia Ross and Ross Siemens.

RELATED: Bruce Banman stepping down as Abbotsford city councillor

The byelection was required to replace former Coun. Bruce Banman, who was voted the MLA for Abbotsford South in the October 2020 provincial election.

Banman stepped down from his council position on Feb. 28 of this year, saying he wanted to focus solely on being the MLA.

He said he had wanted to complete his term as councillor, which he began in 2018, but he ran provincially with the assumption that the NDP would set the election for October 2021.

RELATED: Banman’s flip-flop on Abbotsford councillor position triggered byelection

But Premier John Horgan called a snap election, which took place instead in October 2020.

Mayor Henry Braun was critical of Banman’s decision to step down before Jan. 1, 2022. Remaining on council until then would have avoided a byelection – and the associated costs – with the next municipal election taking place Oct. 15, 2022.

The Community Charter requires local governments to hold a byelection if a councillor resigns their position before Jan.1 in the year of a general local election.

RELATED: Abbotsford byelection to replace MLA Bruce Banman set for Sept. 25

Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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