B.C. Premier Christy Clark has won the endorsement of West Kelowna’s mayor in her bid for reelection.
On the night she was acclaimed the Liberal Party of B.C.’s candidate in Westside-Kelowna—to be renamed Kelowna West for the next provincial election—Mayor Doug Findlater said he hopes to see Clark re-elected in next spring’s B.C. vote.
“She has been amazing,” said Findlater when asked what it has meant to his city to have the premier as its local MLA. “I’m really hoping she gets re-elected.”
Asked if he was endorsing Clark, Findlater said yes.
But he quickly added, as mayor, he would be willing to meet with all candidates and work with whoever is elected. The next provincial election is scheduled for May 9, 2017.
Findlater said Clark has been surprisingly available to him and his council, has helped on a number of issues important to the city from the minute she was elected in a byelection July 2013.
Findlater said Clark has spent a surprising amount of time in the riding over the last three years given that she has to travel the province as premier.
Clark has a home in the riding, as well as one in Vancouver.
On Saturday night in West Kelowna, in accepting the party’s nomination, Clark kicked off the upcoming election campaign early with a rousing stump speech in which she called on her party’s supporters to prepare for the election and not let apathy keep them from the polls.
“Our enemy isn’t the New Democrat’s,” she told a crowd of about 450 who gathered for her annual Beans and Jeans community event. “We don’t have to be scared of the socialists. Our enemy is those who think that maybe they don’t need to bother, maybe they can let somebody else do it for them.”
Listing off a number of areas where she said B.C. is leading the country, such as economic growth, job creation and the unemployment rate, Clark said she believes in the people of B.C. and their entrepreneurial spirit. And added it will not her or her MLAs who will make B.C. succeed, it will be the people of the province.
“I never forget to be humble and remember who we are doing this for,” said Clark.
Following the gathering, Clark said she does not take her job as MLA lightly, noting she knows she is premier because the voters of Westside-Kelowna elected her as their MLA.
“They have accepted me with open arms,” she said.
And while the election is still eight months away, Clark is already looking at local issues she wants to tackle if re-elected, such as transportation issues like Highway 97 through Westbank and a second crossing of Okanagan Lake.
While a second lake crossing still years away, Clark said planning already well underway.