Former Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart to leave Asia gig

Former Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart has decided to leave the Asia position he's held since 2013

  • Dec. 20, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart fought off tears as he announced his decision to step aside in order to allow Premier Christy Clark to run for the riding in a byelection.

Former Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart has decided to leave the Asia gig he’s held since 2013 to “focus on his B.C. business and reconnect with his family.”

The announcement he’d be leaving the position of B.C.’s Special Representative in Asia came out of a statement from the Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, Teresa Wat.

“I want to thank Ben Stewart on behalf of government and all British Columbians for his excellent work promoting B.C.’s trade and investment interests in East Asia. British Columbia has been well-served by a representative with his experience and expertise,” said Wat in the release.

“We wish Ben all the best as he returns to private life after serving three years in Beijing as B.C.’s Special Representative in Asia. In this role, he helped build British Columbia’s government-to-government and business-to-business relationships that opened doors, attracted new investment and helped B.C. businesses enter new markets in Asia.

B.C, she added, is losing  a distinguished proponent of the province.

“We wish him the very best in his future endeavours as he focuses on his B.C. business and reconnects with his family,” said Wat, adding that Stewart’s last day as B.C.’s Special Representative in Asia will be Dec. 30, and the province is now exploring options for a replacement.

Stewart was elected MLA for Westside-Kelowna  in 2009 and again  in May of 2013, taking  58 per cent of the vote in Westside-Kelowna.

Less than a month later he announced he would be stepping aside so Clark, who lost her Vancouver-Point Grey seat in the election, could run in the riding in a byelection.

Clark had nothing but praise for Stewart, at the time saying she was “humbled” by his offer to give up his seat, a gesture she said represented the values he stands for—putting the interests of the province first.

In October he was appointed  B.C.’s Special Representative in Asia.

Just Posted

Imagine Kelowna’s future this week

Four community meetings will take place on the future of the city

Accidents mount as snow falls

Kelowna drivers are having a tough time with worsening conditions

Kelowna’s global awareness festival set to go

Festival organizers get $22,800 grant from federal government to help stage this year’s events

Bus slams into truck at Kelowna intersection

A transit bus and a pick-up truck came together in the noon hour in Kelowna

Downtown Kelowna shopping mall getting face lift

The Towne Centre Mall on Bernard will be renamed and renovated inside and out

Scandia Jungle mini golf course reopening

Kelowna - Rutland Elementary students were the first ones to try the revamped course Tuesday

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberals get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Letter: Dictatorships don’t happen by accident

Kelowna letter-writer says people following Donald Trump are enabling him

Team chaplain reflects on time with Silverbacks

Kenny Toews served as a mentor and spiritual leader to the team for six seasons

Drawings connect autistic student with the world

Leifen Mitchell-Banks creates colourful cartoon characters at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Lake Country skier named Olympic alternate

Ian Deans will be a back up for the men’s ski cross team in South Korea

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close, union says

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Most Read