Premier John Horgan with Kelowna West NDP candidate Shelley Cook at Sunday’s nomination meeting where Cook was acclaimed as the party’s candidate in the upcoming byelection. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna West voters to pick Christy Clark’s replacement in February

Premier John Horgan says while no date yet, he will call the byelection in early January.

B.C. Premier John Horgan is finally ready call the byelection in Kelowna West.

Following the official nomination of Shelley Cook, the NDP’s candidate in the riding on Sunday, Horgan told reporters he will call by byelection in early January, and Kelowna West voters will head to the polls in early February.

He said he wants the winner in the legislature when the NDP government brings down its budget the third week of February.

Horgan has until early February to call the vote, which would be followed by a 28-day campaign.

The seat became vacant Aug. 4 when former Liberal premier Christy Clark quit politics after the NDP and the B.C. Greens teamed up to defeat her minority government following last May’s provincial election. In that election, the Liberals won 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three.

The current numbers in the B.C. Legislature are 41 seats each for the NDP and the Liberals, three for the B.C. Greens and one independent—speaker Daryl Plecas, a former B.C. Liberal. Kelowna West remains vacant.

The Liberals are currently in the midst of leadership contest to replace Clark, with six candidates vying for the job. They debated each other Saturday in Kelowna.

In the upcoming byelection, Cook will run against the riding’s former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart and a Green candidate who will be named Monday.

Horgan said he did not ask Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to refrain from fielding a candidate in Kelowna West to give Cook a better chance of winning. He said he is confident Cook can win despite the riding’s long history of electing first Social Credit MLAs and then B.C. Liberal MLAs.

“I think voters here are tired of the Liberals treating this riding like a commodity, to be traded,” said Horgan, noting with the upcoming byelection there will have been four elections in Kelowna West in the last four years—two provincial elections and two byelections.

In 2013, Stewart stepped down after being re-elected in Kelowna West to allow Clark to run. She easily won the byelection and in May was re-elected with 59.6 per cent of the vote over Cook, who finished second and and Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu.

Horgan said he plans to return to the riding often between now and the byelection to campaign for Cook.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

Sooke reps have opposing views on CRD chair term lengths

Two Sooke politicians have opposite opinions on whether increasing Capital Regional District… Continue reading

Calling all foodies, seedies and gardeners

Sooke Seedy Saturday on Feb. 24

Cherry blossom map points to where spring has sprung in Victoria

City released a handy guide to find the most beautiful buds

Saanich’s proposed building code changes come under fire

VRBA head says changes to energy efficiency standards will bring up to $100,000 in additional costs

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Vancouver Island’s Teal Harle finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle skiing

‘I’ve definitely surpassed every expectation I had for the Games’ – Harle

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Most Read