Dan Law is Tofino’s new mayor.
Law received 60 per cent of the 904 votes cast in the district’s March 6 byelection with his tally of 545 besting J.J. Belanger, 191 votes, and Andrea McQuade, 168 votes.
Preliminary 2021 By-Election Results are in!
See link: https://mailchi.mp/a8662fb73e9a/preliminary-2021-by-election-results
“I have a lot of people to thank,” Law told the Westerly News. “I would like to thank my wife Molly and my family for putting in the time and effort and the patience and perseverance to see me through this campaign and so many other people; very, very close dear friends and neighbours who also put their time and effort into helping me get here.”
Several residents posted on social media about long wait times at the polls and the district assured everyone in line at 8 p.m. would get a chance to vote.
Hi #Tofino!! Thank you much for the fantastic turn out today! Anyone who was in line at 8:00 pm will have an opportunity…
Law said he was awaiting the results with several other candidates at the Tofino Community Hall voting station as the district’s byelection team tabulated the votes, explaining that candidates have a right to be present for the count.
“It’s a race. You kind of want to race right to the end, that’s my philosophy anyway and it’s the exciting moment. You’re standing around with everybody else who’s been putting so much hard work and effort in and it’s just great to really embrace that moment,” he said.
“My first thought was, ‘Wow that was quite the campaign and it’s over.’ My second thought was, ‘Well, now there’s lots of work to do.’ I started thinking about what’s going to happen this week and next week and all the projects and stuff that mayor council and district staff and our whole community are going to work on.”
He said he was confident his campaign had done well to get his message across, but was surprised by the percentage of votes he secured.
“My competitors were tough. They put in a lot of work. They ran good, solid campaigns. I thought I was ahead all along, but they put in a lot of work so I was a little surprised that it was such a clear victory, but happy about it,” he said. “The reality is I ran on a community focused platform with that message and I think it resonated with people, so it was really the community that got behind it and spoke.”
Law takes the town’s local government reins from former mayor Josie Osborne who resigned the position after being elected Mid-Island Pacific Rim MLA in the Oct. 24, 2020, provincial election.
“One thing that I just really admire about Josie is her work ethic. She is a tremendously hard worker and she put in a lot of time as a mayor and she did a good job at that, so I am going to try to live up to that,” Law said. “I’m certainly going to be calling Josie quite a bit for advice and learning the role. We’re very different people and I’m sure I’ll be as different as a mayor as we are as people, but we’re very complementary I think. I’m looking forward to working with Josie.”
THANK YOU TOFINO!!!! 💛
Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel congratulated Law and said he’s excited to work with his neighbouring town’s new leader.
“I’m looking forward to having a community leader that I can build a relationship with during the course of my term. That’s really important for communities to grow together,” Noel told the Westerly. “Any kind of work that we all do together is about relationships and, for me, it’s about trying to have a solid base that we can build off of.”
Tofino also elected two new councillors on March 6 as Law and McQuade had both resigned their council seats to run for mayor.
Seven candidates ran for the two spots with Cathy Thicke, 410 votes, and Jacky Challenger, 328 votes, each earning a seat. Ali Sawyer received 220 votes, followed by Lindsay Whitefield, 219, Zak Cross, 178, Chris Heisterman, 176 and Stephen Ashton, 132.
Law suggested his first priority as the town’s new mayor will be to forge and foster comradery.
“My first goal is to get back to work with the team, we’ve got a great council, we’ve got a new councillor and a returning councillor and to get back to working with our district staff. They’re wonderful staff, it’s going to be a great team. My first priority is just getting into that role, getting comfortable with that role and getting that team spirt together,” he said.
READ MORE: Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race