Former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart wants his old job back in Kelowna West.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart wants his old job back in Kelowna West.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Former MLA gets B.C. Liberal nomination in Kelowna West

Ben Stewart will be acclaimed as his party’s nominee to run in the yet-to-be called byelection.

The man who stepped aside to let former B.C. premier and Kelowna West MLA Christy Clark seek a seat in the B.C. Legislature in 2013, will be the B.C. Liberal’s candidate when a byelection is held in the riding some time before next February.

Ben Stewart, who won two elections for the B.C. Liberals in the riding, then known as Westside-Kelowna, announced shortly after Clark quit politics last month he wanted his old job back and planned to seek his party’s nomination.

With no one else publicly stepping forward to run for the nomination, Stewart will be acclaimed as the Liberal candidate Sept. 21 at a meeting in Westbank.

“Representing the constituents of Kelowna West and serving British Columbia (was) the honour of my lifetime, and I’m humbled by the community’s support and this opportunity to serve again,” Stewart said.

Premier John Horgan has up to six months to call the by-election and said last week he has not given any thought as to when a vote in Kelowna West would be held.

He said with the return to the B.C. Legislature by MLAs next week, the date for the byelection will be given more thought then. The byelection must called before Feb. 4 and once it is, a 28-day campaign will follow.

Clark resigned Aug. 4 and her former constituency office in Westbank is slated to close Sept. 30.

Stewart said he and his team are ready to work hard to win the byelection whenever it is called but he needs Horgan to set a date.

The well-known co-owner of West Kelowna’s Quail’s Gate Winery, Stewart was named B.C.’s special representative to Asia focusing on trade by Clark in 2014 after he stepped aside for her to run in the riding. Just a few weeks earlier he held the riding for the Liberals in the 2013 provincial election, wining by a large margin.

Stewart first won the seat in 2009 and served in three cabinet posts during his term in office—as minister of citizens’ services, community and rural development and agriculture.

Along with fellow area Liberal MLAs Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country) and Steve Thomson (Kelowna-Mission), the three dubbed themselves “Team Okanagan.”

Meanwhile, the NDP candidate who lost to Clark in Kelowna West in May’s provincial election said she is considering another run at the seat.

Shelley Cook, who came second to Clark earlier this year, said while she has not made a formal decision about running yet, she is “definitely considering her options.”

“It kind of feels like something I started,” she said Friday.

Whether she runs or not, Cook said she plans to remain fully engaged with the NDP going forward.

If she does run again, it would be the second time in a row that the same NDP candidate who ran for the party in the previous general election runs in the riding in the subsequent byelection.

Carole Gordon, who lost to Stewart in 2013, ran against Clark in the byelection that year and as she did aginst Stewart, finished second.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sheldon Pierre Louis’s winning mural design, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.” (Facebook: Okanagan Nation Alliance)
Syilx artist selected as winner of Kelowna Gospel Mission’s mural project

Sheldon Pierre Louis was also awarded $10,000 for his winning submission, “kʷu mr̓imstn, we are medicine.”

The administrative headquarters for Central Okanagan Public Schools in Kelowna. (File photo)
Another 6 Central Okanagan Schools exposed to COVID-19

The school district has seen a rise in cases at several of its schools over the course of the month

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: What does space smell like?

Your morning start for Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Patios, retail shops to expand outdoor spaces in West Kelowna (PHOTO: The City of West Kelowna).
West Kelowna allows expanded patios, retail spaces

West Kelowna allows businesses to expand outdoor service areas due to pandemic restrictions

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

Shuswap businesses dependent on  tourism are bracing for further details of travel restrictions expected to be announced by Friday, April 23. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
B.C. travel restrictions create uncertainty among North Okanagan-Shuswap businesses

Sicamous mayor to ramp up campaign against licence plate hate

The site of a proposed water bottling facility referred to in a groundwater licence application is in the vicinity of this intersection. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Concerns raised over water licence application in Salmon Arm for bottling water

Neighbours want to know more, city councillor concerned about commercial use of public aquifers

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Most Read