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B.C.: Tories going strong

Globe and Mail Update

The Conservatives have maintained their stronghold on British Columbia, where they captured 21 ridings to maintain the dominance in the province they established back in 1993.

B.C. gained two seats after redistribution for a total 36. At dissolution, 25 of them were held by Tories, six were Liberal and two were NDP.

Among the high-profile Conservatives, former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day took a seat in Okanagan-Coquihalla, Chuck Strahl captured Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon and defence critic Jay Hill won by a landslide in Prince George-Peace River.

John Reynolds, however, lost his seat to Liberal Blair Wilson in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast.

The Liberals led in 9 of B.C. ridings, while capturing another two seats in the Yukon and Nunavut.

The province's former NDP premier, Ujjal Dosanjh , become one of the Liberal's star candidates during this election and ended up winning his Vancouver South riding.

Stephen Owen, who was public works minister before dissolution, won his Vancouver-area seat and David Anderson reclaimed his in Victoria.

Raymond Chan, a former Liberal cabinet minister who lost to the Conservatives in 2000, will return to Parliament to represent the Richmond area.

The NDP had hoped to make gains in B.C., and though they trailed with only five seats, the party improved its showing in the province.

The NDP preserved its hotly contested seat in Burnaby-Douglas, which had been locked down by NDP Svend Robinson for 25 years.

Mr. Robinson stepped down recently — he cited health problems and admitted to pocketing a pricey ring at an auction — leaving the riding up for grabs.

It was won by NDP candidate Bill Siksay, who beat out B.C. Liberal Party president Bill Cunningham, one of five candidates hand-picked by Prime Minister Paul Martin in the province.

But Mr. Cunningham found himself embroiled in controversy after businessman Tony Kuo, the candidate he was chosen to replace, tearfully told a press conference that the Liberal machine had kept him from fulfilling a political dream.

B.C. will send the country's only Independent to the House of Commons.  Chuck Cadman, who was previously elected twice as a Conservative but lost his nomination to a newcomer to the party earlier this year, handily won his Surrey seat.

The NDP also took the single seat in the Northwest Territories.

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