Premier John Horgan with Kelowna West NDP candidate Shelley Cook at Sunday’s nomination meeting where Cook was acclaimed as the party’s candidate in the upcoming byelection. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna West voters to pick Christy Clark’s replacement in February

Premier John Horgan says while no date yet, he will call the byelection in early January.

B.C. Premier John Horgan is finally ready call the byelection in Kelowna West.

Following the official nomination of Shelley Cook, the NDP’s candidate in the riding on Sunday, Horgan told reporters he will call by byelection in early January, and Kelowna West voters will head to the polls in early February.

He said he wants the winner in the legislature when the NDP government brings down its budget the third week of February.

Horgan has until early February to call the vote, which would be followed by a 28-day campaign.

The seat became vacant Aug. 4 when former Liberal premier Christy Clark quit politics after the NDP and the B.C. Greens teamed up to defeat her minority government following last May’s provincial election. In that election, the Liberals won 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three.

The current numbers in the B.C. Legislature are 41 seats each for the NDP and the Liberals, three for the B.C. Greens and one independent—speaker Daryl Plecas, a former B.C. Liberal. Kelowna West remains vacant.

The Liberals are currently in the midst of leadership contest to replace Clark, with six candidates vying for the job. They debated each other Saturday in Kelowna.

In the upcoming byelection, Cook will run against the riding’s former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart and a Green candidate who will be named Monday.

Horgan said he did not ask Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to refrain from fielding a candidate in Kelowna West to give Cook a better chance of winning. He said he is confident Cook can win despite the riding’s long history of electing first Social Credit MLAs and then B.C. Liberal MLAs.

“I think voters here are tired of the Liberals treating this riding like a commodity, to be traded,” said Horgan, noting with the upcoming byelection there will have been four elections in Kelowna West in the last four years—two provincial elections and two byelections.

In 2013, Stewart stepped down after being re-elected in Kelowna West to allow Clark to run. She easily won the byelection and in May was re-elected with 59.6 per cent of the vote over Cook, who finished second and and Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu.

Horgan said he plans to return to the riding often between now and the byelection to campaign for Cook.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six bears destroyed in three days in West Kelowna

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

Boil water notice rescinded for parts of West Kelowna

Westbank Centre residents along the Old Okanagan Highway can safely drink their water again

West Kelowna Warriors being sold back to BC Hockey League

Current owner Kim Dobranski said the sale back to the BCHL should be completed by the end of October

Police standoff ends peacefully in West Kelowna

A distraught man was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon

Central Okanagan MP candidates put thousands into Facebook ads

Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr leads the pack with over $15,000 in ad spending according to a report

Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

South Okanagan dangerous offender guilty plea struck down

Trial delayed again because Ronald Teneycke failed to elect his choice of trial

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Most Read