British Columbia

Liberal incumbent Terry Beech wins in Burnaby North-Seymour

Liberal incumbent Terry Beech held on to his Burnaby North-Seymour riding.

Incumbent fended off NDP candidate Svend Robinson despite Liberal support for Trans Mountain expansion

Liberal MP Terry Beech celebrates his re-election in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour. The riding is considered ground zero in the Trans Mountain pipeline debate. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Liberal incumbent Terry Beech has won the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour.

The Liberal held on to the seat he first won in 2015, thwarting an attempted political comeback by the NDP's Svend Robinson.

The riding is considered ground-zero for the debate over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Beech was one of only two MPs who voted against the project in the House of Commons, but he also represented the government that bought the 1,150-kilometre pipeline in order to save a proposal to twin it, in order to facilitate the flow of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burrard Inlet.

The endpoint of the project — Westridge Marine Terminal — sits in the middle of the Burnaby North-Seymour riding, which includes parts of both Burnaby and North Vancouver.

Robinson's return

Despite the pipeline controversy, Beech won a handy victory over Robinson, the former NDP MP who re-entered the political fray in order to fight against the pipeline.

Beech argued that the pipeline purchase would guarantee the kind of strong economy that will give Canada the "social licence" to invest in climate change.

Nationwide, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau held onto just enough seats in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario to secure a minority government.

NDP candidate Svend Robinson was defeated by incumbent Liberal MP Terry Beech by more than 1,500 votes. (CBC News/Nicolas Amaya)

Robinson, who was Canada's first openly gay MP, spent 25 years in the House of Commons before retiring in 2004 after admitting to stealing a diamond ring while attending a public jewellery auction.

He said he had been battling severe stress at the time.

Robinson, who opposes the Trans Mountain expansion, had hoped to benefit from voters who felt betrayed by the Liberals' position on the pipeline.

Homophobic statements

Beyond the issue of the pipeline, the fight for Burnaby North-Seymour was also rocked mid-contest by the discovery of past homophobic statements by Conservative candidate Heather Leung.

The controversy led the Conservatives to turf Leung, who had also expressed public support for conversion therapy. She went on to run as an Independent but was still registered as a Conservative.

Leung was in full support of the pipeline, as was Rocky Dong, the candidate for the People's Party of Canada.

Green candidate Amita Kuttner said she is opposed to both the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and fracking.


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