Independent candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk has announced her decision to run in the July 10 Westside-Kelowna byelection.
Van Ryswyk—who only managed to earn 4.6 per cent of the vote in Kelowna-Mission during the May 14 provincial election—issued a release Friday evening explaining her motive for running.
“I am appalled that Christy Clark would consider the Westside-Kelowna riding as an easy win, especially since she lost her own home riding of Vancouvery-Point Grey,” said Van Ryswyk.
“Her own constituents found her unable to represent their interests and they kicked her out. What makes her think the voters of Westside-Kelowna want an absentee MLA (who) isn’t even from this area?”
Van Ryswyk was originally a candidate for the New Democratic Party in the provincial election last month; however, she quit over controversial comments she made about aboriginal people and the French language in an Internet forum four years ago.
After leaving the NDP, Van Ryswyk opted to run as an independent candidate.
“As an independent candidate, I’m not bound by party policy and rhetoric and can actually be the voice of my constituents in the legislature.
“I would also like to be instrumental in bringing forward meaningful and respectful discussion on First Nations issues. The mishandling of these sensitive issues at both federal and provincial levels (is) only increasing the divide between the people of British Columbia and Canada.”
According to the Elections BC website, there are currently six candidates running for MLA in Westside-Kelowna, including: Jag Bhandari (B.C. Vision), Christy Clark (Liberal Party), Carole Gordon (NDP), Silverado Socrates (Independent), Sean Upshaw (Conservative) and Dayleen Van Ryswyk (Independent).