Capital News file B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, seen here arriving in Kelowna during May’s provincial election, has chosen a candidate for the upcoming Kelowna West byelection.

B.C. Greens ready to roll out Kelowna West candidate

Party says it will announce the identity of the candidate for the upcoming byelection on Monday

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has selected a candidate to run for his party in the upcoming Kelowna West byelection—whenever that vote is held.

But the identity of the candidate is being kept under wraps until early next week.

The party confirmed Thursday a candidate has been chosen under rules that allow the leader to select a candidate when there is no B.C Green riding association in place.

The Green candidate will run against former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart, who represented the riding from 2009 to 2013 but gave up the seat after being re-elected in 2013 to allow then-premier Christy Clark to run in a byelection. Clark won the byelection by a large margin and was reelected with 59.6 per cent of the vote in last May’s provincial election.

She quit as both premier and Liberal leader and left politics in August when it became clear her government would be defeated in a vote of non-confidence in the B.C. Legislature by the NDP with the Green Party’s backing.

The NDP will have Shelley Cook represent it in the upcoming byelection. Cook, who finished a distant second to Clark in May, will be acclaimed as her party’s candidate at a nomination meeting in West Kelowna on Sunday.

No date for the byelection has been announced by Premier John Horgan, who will be at Cook’s nomination meeting. He has until February to call the byelection. West Kelowna has not had an MLA representing it since Clark left in August and her MLA office in the riding was shut down in September.

Meanwhile, the man who ran for the Green Party in the last provincial election, Robert Mellalieau, said he believes both the Green candidate and Cook stand a much better chance of winning this time around because voters will not have the choice of re-electing B.C’s premier.

“(The Liberal choice) will be a backbencher with the Opposition,” he said.

As for what his party’s candidate must do to win, Mellalieu said voters must be shown Green ideas are not expensive and can save money and create jobs in the long-term.

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