West Vancouver's Ralph Sultan becomes oldest MLA in B.C. history to be elected

Voters in West Vancouver-Capilano have re-elected Liberal candidate Ralph Sultan, 83, who has now become the oldest person to be elected in B.C. political history.

Ralph Sultan first ran for politics at the age of 67

Ralph Sultan has been the MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano for the past four terms. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Voters in West Vancouver-Capilano have re-elected Liberal candidate Ralph Sultan, 83, who is now the oldest person to be elected in the history of B.C. politics. 

Sultan became one of B.C.'s oldest first-term MLAs at the age of 67 after the sudden death of his wife in 1999, when he decided politics would suit him better than retirement.

He won with a comfortable majority of 58.2 per cent. The NDP's Mehdi Russel came in at 22.3 per cent, and the Greens' Michael Markwick at 19.2 per cent. 

"I don't think time for change is a dominant theme in this part of British Columbia," Sultan said. 

"If there was a dominant theme it was they were frightened to death the NDP might win and taxes go through the roof."

Prior to politics, the Harvard-educated, former Royal Bank chief economist lived a full life running various mining and banking companies.

And 16 years after first being elected, he told CBC News he still enjoys the basic interactions that come with constituency work. 

Sultan has long been a favourite in the riding, which he admitted is largely made up of retired business people and professionals. 

"People on the North Shore know they tend to be an ATM machine for governments which need a fast cash transfusion for whatever scheme they have in mind this week, and we feel very vulnerable to tax increases on the North Shore," Sultan said. 

With files from Justin McElroy