By a narrow margin, Mike Little has been re-elected mayor of the District of North Vancouver.
Little won with 51 per cent of the vote, according to the unofficial results, beating opponent Mathew Bond, a former two-term councillor for the district. Little was first elected in 2018, making this his second term in the mayor's seat.
While Bond emphasized the need for change, in his campaign Little highlighted his deep engagement in the community and his work on the TransLink Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation. To improve congestion – a major pain point for residents in the area – Little said there will be a "massive" increase in bus service, including HandyDART service and Bus Rapid Transit.
Polls closed at 8 p.m., and unofficial totals started to come in around 9:10 p.m. Final unofficial results were posted just after 10 p.m.
"I'm terrible at hockey," said Little, having a laugh at his election party at Canlan Ice Sports off Mt. Seymour Parkway.
He started by reflecting on the low voter turnout, which was around 20 per cent in the district, a drop of about 30 per cent from the last municipal election in 2018.
"That's a big challenge, when we have a community that is not engaged enough to come out and vote in the election," he said. "That's going to be something that we all have to get together and work on as a council to get our community back engaged in community events and make sure that they they come out and vote, because 20 per cent is not where an educated community like the District of North Vancouver should be – it should be one of the leading municipalities in terms of voter turnout."
Going forward, Little said people in the district are concerned about transportation and housing, issues that have been repeated throughout the campaign.
"And the pressure comes on me now to go and work with the province and the federal government to move those priorities," he said. "Early as we possibly can, because we're sitting behind that congestion on a daily basis."
Also at the Canlan party was newly elected councillor Herman Mah, a real estate asset manager for BC Housing.
"It was very exciting," he said. "It's my first campaign. And I had a lot of support from Mike, Lisa (Muri) and a lot of other people in the community. Barry Forward was one of my best advisors and my community was really great."
Mah said that what will drive him over the next four years on council is what's good for the community.
"Of course, there's issues with transportation, housing – I work at BC housing," he said. "And we need solutions to that. But really, what I hear from people is they love North Van. Yes, they understand that it's changing, but we need to manage that change so it's not hitting them all at once."
Mike Little - 7,582 (51.02 per cent)
Mathew Bond - 7,260 (48.92 per cent)
Re-elected to district council are Jordan Back, Lisa Muri, Jim Hanson and Betty Forbes.
Newly elected to council are Catherine Pope and Herman Mah, taking seats left by Bond and Megan Curren.
Curren didn't run for re-election, stating that she was leaving after one term to make room for younger candidates.
Elected school board trustees
Linda Munro, George Tsiakos, Kulvir Mann and Cyndi Gerlach have all been re-elected as school board trustees.