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Independent candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould celebrates her election win in Vancouver on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.

JIMMY JEONG/The Canadian Press

In the end, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s big gamble paid off. The Independent incumbent took in roughly one-third of the votes in Vancouver Granville, surging past Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed to win the riding.

“Holy moly,” Ms. Wilson-Raybould said, taking the stage late Monday night at her celebration party in Vancouver. She was surrounded by her husband, mother, sister and three nieces, and wore a wrap made especially for her by Indigenous artist John Powell. “I am so happy to be standing here as the newly elected Independent candidate for Vancouver Granville.”

The woman who placed Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in the crosshairs of a bruising political scandal had been locked in a tight three-way race with Mr. Noormohamed and Conservative Zach Segal for much of the early evening. At the Hellenic Community of Vancouver, supporters gathered in nervous silence, watching the results come in.

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But by 9:30 p.m. PT, the former justice minister pulled ahead, eliciting cheers and chants of her name: “Jody! Jody! Jody!” The room exploded when she entered.

“This win means that it’s okay to stand up for what you believe in, to speak your truth, to act with integrity even when the implications might descend on you – that if you believe in public service, if you believe in contributing to the country and using your voice to address issues, that that matters,” she said, speaking without notes.

“I was always taught that you do the right thing, and you work hard, and the universe will unfold as it should.”

Election 2019: Interactive map and results

Trudeau’s Liberals have a minority government. What now? A guide to the day after

Natasha Rygnestad-Stahl, a 23-year-old law student at the University of B.C., was watching the results come in with a group of friends on the city’s west side. When. Ms. Wilson-Raybould pulled ahead, the group raced down to the Hellenic Centre, dancing in the empty streets on their way there.

In the wake of the SNC-Lavalin affair, “a lot of people got down on her saying that she was handing the Conservatives a victory, but there is a big difference between doing what’s right and doing what’s right for your party,” Ms. Rygnestad-Stahl said.

“This election more than others, the candidates seemed to lack authenticity. But Jody is different. There is a deep authenticity to her.”

Campaign volunteer Evan Guy said the party had volunteers across party lines drive in from all over the Lower Mainland to work on Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s campaign.

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“People admired her integrity, her willingness to stand up for the rule of law and put her career on the line,” he said.

For Mr. Trudeau, who found himself at the centre of a scandal when the former attorney-general’s concerns over political interference in the decision to proceed with the prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin was made public, losing Vancouver Granville must feel personal. In April, Mr. Trudeau ejected Ms. Wilson-Raybould from caucus after weeks of bad press. Neither he nor the Liberals were ever able to recover their mojo.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould will, however, have to work without a party infrastructure and resources. As thoughtful and principled as she is, it may be hard for her to effect change as an Independent.

After her ousting, Ms. Wilson-Raybould received an outpouring of support from people across the country. She became “a symbol for Canadians who are looking for a different sort of politics,” her former chief of staff, Jessica Prince said.

In spring, when Ms. Wilson-Raybould returned to Vancouver for the first time after the scandal, many of her constituents approached her with tears in their eyes. In “telling the truth,” she sacrificed “everything,” said retiree John Moody, a resident of Mount Pleasant. “She knew her job and the law, and what’s right and that’s more important than being beholden to anyone.” For months afterward, she said, people would come to her to tell her what she meant to them.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s older sister, Kory Wilson – who looks so much like Ms. Wilson-Raybould that people still confuse them – said her sibling is nothing if not stubborn. She recalls watching her compete at a Victoria swim meet when they were kids. In an early lap, her sister cut open her heel doing a flip kick off the pool wall. Badly injured, she kept swimming. “When she finished the race and climbed out of the pool, she was just gushing blood,” Ms. Wilson said. “But that’s Jody.”

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That is not unlike how she left the Liberal caucus: bloody but unbowed. On May 27, she announced her plan to run as an Independent.

“To throw in the towel, when the going got tough, so to speak, would send entirely the wrong message to those people,” said Ms. Prince.

As far as regrets go, Ms. Wilson-Raybould said she has none. What SNC reinforced in her is “how incredibly proud I am to come from an Indigenous community and have a worldview that puts community first, and ensures that in order to maintain that community, one has to act with principle, with integrity, and to always tell the truth,” she said. “I went to Ottawa to try to create space for Indigenous peoples to be self-governing, and to change the way politics was done,” she said. “What I learned is that Ottawa can learn a great deal about community and laws and institutions from Indigenous peoples.”

ELECTION RESULTS 2015 VS. 2019,

VANCOUVER AREA

2015

Squamish-

Lillooet

Sunshine

Coast

Nanaimo

Fraser

Valley

Cowichan

Valley

Greater

Vancouver

Capital

2019

Squamish-

Lillooet

Sunshine

Coast

Nanaimo

Fraser

Valley

Cowichan

Valley

Greater

Vancouver

Capital

ELECTION RESULTS 2015 VS. 2019, VANCOUVER AREA

2015

Squamish-

Lillooet

Sunshine

Coast

Nanaimo

Fraser

Valley

Cowichan

Valley

Greater

Vancouver

Capital

2019

Squamish-

Lillooet

Sunshine

Coast

Nanaimo

Fraser

Valley

Cowichan

Valley

Greater

Vancouver

Capital

ELECTION RESULTS 2015 VS. 2019, VANCOUVER AREA

2015

2019

Squamish-

Lillooet

Squamish-

Lillooet

Sunshine

Coast

Sunshine

Coast

Nanaimo

Nanaimo

Fraser

Valley

Fraser

Valley

Cowichan

Valley

Cowichan

Valley

Greater

Vancouver

Greater

Vancouver

Capital

Capital

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