Sheryl Armstrong takes a seat at the city council table. Armstrong will be the City of Nanaimo’s next city councillor after winning today’s byelection in a landslide. (KARL YU/The News Bulletin)

Update: Armstrong will be Nanaimo’s next city councillor

Sheryl Armstrong wins by landslide in City of Nanaimo byelection

Former RCMP sergeant Sheryl Armstrong won the City of Nanaimo’s 2017 byelection in a landslide victory.

Armstrong, one of 13 candidates vying for a seat vacated by Wendy Pratt, took an overwhelming majority, with 3,611 out of 7,390 votes for 49 per cent. Sacia Burton received the second most votes with 858, while Kevin Cantelon had third most with 643.

Armstrong said she wasn’t expecting to win by such a large margin and her first priority is to get in tune with city governance. There is a lot she has to learn and there are some big items coming up for council to look at, Armstrong said.

“There’s the Colliery dams,” said Armstrong. “I need to get myself up to speed on all of that, so I understand what’s going on … I’d like to work on affordable housing especially for those … that are struggling right now because of the rising prices of homes and rent, so that’s going to be an issue I’d like to look at seriously.”

Despite a lack of city council experience, Armstrong said skills she learned in her time with the RCMP will be beneficial.

“I think one of the things is I’ve worked with different levels of government,” said Armstrong. “I understand how government works because although [RCMP] is separate from it, we watch government …

“Just working with people. You work with different people from every background of life as an RCMP officer, so you learn a lot from that as well.”

Mayor Bill McKay said Armstrong did a “great job” in her campaign and has a good reputation.

“She came across very articulate, very confident of herself, in addition to which she’s not afraid to say ‘I don’t know the answer to your question,’” said McKay. “You can’t know everything about everything. Particularly if you’re not familiar with council workings and the bylaws and where you can spend your money.

“You simply can’t shoot your mouth off … I have no issues with her coming on board. She’s going to be a strong addition to our council.”

Sheila Gurrie, chief election officer, said voter turnout for 2017 was 11 per cent, higher than the 10.1 per cent turnout in a byelection in March 2011 which saw Ted Greves win a council seat.

Gurrie said numbers from Saturday are preliminary and final results will come by noon Wednesday at the latest.

After Armstrong, Burton and Cantelon, the next highest vote total went to Leon Cake with 513 votes followed by Jim Mercier with 443. Also, Brunie Brunie received 378 votes; Noah Routley, 296; Kevin Storrie, 239; Alexis Taylor Middleton, 141; Al Thompson, 82; Kelly Whiteside, 75; Fred Statham, 63 and Neil Saunders, 48.

For more on Armstrong, click here and here.

Kevin Cantelon pre-results of #NanByelxn17.

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Sacia Burton pre-results of #NanByelxn17.

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Brunie Brunie pre-results of #NanByelxn17.

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Sheryl Armstrong pre-results of #NanByelxn17

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Fred Statham pre-results of #NanByelxn17

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We're live from the Shaw Auditorium in #Nanaimo for #NanByelxn17

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For previous byelection coverage, click here.

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