Vernon-Monashee Liberal MLA Eric Foster (arm raised) celebrates his riding victory in the May 2017 provincial election. Foster, 70, is gearing up to run for his fourth consecutive term in Victoria after Premier John Horgan called an election for Saturday, Oct. 24. (Morning Star - file photo)

‘Totally unnecessary’ – Okanagan-Shuswap Liberals MLAs reacts to election call

Eric Foster, Greg Kyllo say call is “political opportunity;’ each will seek re-election

Down 40 pounds since the 2017 election, the slimmer, trimmer Eric Foster is ready for another provincial battle.

Premier John Horgan announced Monday, Sept. 21, that British Columbians will go to the polls Saturday, Oct. 24, in a snap election call, one year ahead of a scheduled election on Oct. 16, 2021.

“We are ready,” said Foster, who won a third consecutive term as Vernon-Monashee Liberal MLA in three years ago.

“Two months ago there was talk about it (election). A month later, the talk picked up and now we have the call.”

Foster said the election call is “totally unnecessary.”

“It comes at a time when British Columbia has the highest per capita rate of COVID in the country,” he said. “This is strictly a political opportunity. They are putting the health, welfare and safety of British Columbians at risk.”

Foster did not hesitate when asked if he’ll seek a fourth term in Victoria.

“Absolutely,” said Foster, who just turned 70. “I still enjoy doing it. Of course, we’re not as effective in opposition as we would be if we were in government.”

In May 2017, Foster topped the polls with 48 per cent of the ballots cast, 13, 625, compared to runner-up Barry Dorval of the NDP, who garnered 8,355 votes (29 per cent).

Keli Westgate of the Green Party finished third with 6,139 votes and Libertarian Donald Jefcoat collected 341 votes. The Conservative Party did not run a candidate in the riding.

Shuswap Liberal MLA Greg Kyllo said in an interview with Black Press last week that dropping the writ would see the government essentially cease functioning until the election is over.

“This is the wrong time to be pulling political stunts when British Columbians want to have certainty with respect to the economy, health care, all of the very important issues (we) are facing,” said Kyllo. “They don’t need to be worrying about the opportunistic approach of the NDP to rush a snap election and get a political win.”

Following a recent shuffling of responsibilities within the BC Liberal Party, Kyllo, who formerly served as BC Hydro critic, was given the role of Official Opposition Critic for Environment and Parks. On Sept. 14, he was unanimously elected by his caucus colleagues to take on the additional role of BC Liberal Caucus Chair.

“It’s a real honour when you have a look at the depth and breadth of our talent and all those that I work with. It’s very humbling to be identified and selected from them to represent them as their caucus chair,” said Kyllo, who said Monday, Sept. 21, he would seek re-election in the upcoming vote.

READ MORE: Shuswap MLA opposed to ‘opportunistic’ snap election

READ MORE: Liberal blue sweeps Vernon-Monashee riding



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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