B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson addresses party convention in Vancouver, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (Facebook)

Andrew Wilkinson rallies party as B.C. referendum, byelection approach

B.C. Liberals have more MLAs, less money than ruling NDP

Andrew Wilkinson’s first party convention as B.C. Liberal leader comes at a key time for the opposition, trying to defeat a referendum the party sees as eroding their Liberal-Conservative coalition and tilting the province towards their opponents’ urban base.

Wilkinson also aims to take a stronghold seat in Nanaimo, held by the NDP since 2005, in a byelection that could tighten an already thin margin for the minority NDP government in Victoria.

At the convention at a downtown Vancouver hotel Saturday, the party had a “referendum rally” with a lineup of speakers targeting the method and choices of the proportional representation referendum designed by the NDP and B.C. Green Parties.

Wilkinson began his speech by crediting former premier Christy Clark and Skeena MLA Ellis Ross for his work as Haisla chief councillor in laying the groundwork for the LNG Canada export facility planned for Kitimat.

Premier John Horgan has said he will call a by-election for Nanaimo by January, after a long-time NDP MLA Leonard Krog resigning his seat to take up his new job as Nanaimo mayor, which he is expected to do soon. His departure brings the standings in the legislature to 42 B.C. Liberal seats, 40 held by the NDP and three for the B.C. Greens.

Speaker Darryl Plecas sits as an independent, expelled from the B.C. Liberals for standing for the job and cementing the NDP minority government. If the B.C. Liberals win the Nanaimo seat, Plecas would be required to cast deciding votes if only one NDP or Green MLA is unavailable.

The B.C. Liberals find themselves in the unaccustomed position of not only being opposition, but falling behind the NDP in the new era of personal-only political donations.

The B.C. NDP raised $1.26 million from individual donations in the first six months of 2018, nearly double the take of the B.C. Liberals in the same period.

The B.C. Liberal Party total was $748,000, and the B.C. Green Party took in $271,000, according to interim finance reports released Wednesday by Elections B.C.

The individual donations are on top of the public subsidy that began to be paid this year, starting at a rate of $2.50 per vote earned by each party in 2017. That subsidy pays out about $27 million from taxpayers to the three eligible parties over five years, splitting about $2.4 million that was paid out at the beginning of 2018.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Update: Structure fire reported in Kelowna industrial area put out

A structure fire was reported just after 3:30 p.m. off Sexsmith Road

Kelowna e-scooter company foils downtown robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to Kelowna

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

Kootnekoff: It’s my strata, and I’ll smoke if I want to (Part 2)

The final part of a legal battle between two strata residents and second-hand smoke

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Letter: Definition issues raised about being Canadian

To the editor: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on U.S.… Continue reading

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Letter: More sani-dumps needed at camps

To the editor: Have you ever tried to book a campsite in… Continue reading

Most Read