B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart speaks to supporters and the media Wednesday night at his Quail’s Gate Winery in West Kelowna after winning the Kelowna West provincial byelection. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

MLA-elect waiting to be seated

Kelowna West MLA-elect Ben Stewart won’t be sworn in in time for tomorrow’s B.C. budget

If Ben Stewart was hoping to be sworn in as Kelowna West MLA in time for tomorrow’s provincial budget he’s out of luck.

According to Elections BC, Stewart cannot be sworn in until the district electoral officer returns the writ of election to B.C.’s chief electoral officer and the result is finalized. That is scheduled for Feb. 26.

Elections BC communications manger Andrew Watson said Monday while it is the B.C. Legislature that deals with the swearing in of MLAs, that cannot happen until after the Election BC process is complete and byelection result is finalized.

While Stewart was the clear winner on byelection day (Feb. 14), taking just over just over 56 per cent of the vote, that result is considered unofficial until the final count is completed and reported back to the chief electoral officer. The final count, goes today and will include the counting of the absentee ballots, which were not counted last Wednesday.

On byelection night, the preliminary result showed B.C. Liberal Stewart received 7,692 votes (56.34%), the NDP’s Shelley Cook 3,197 votes (23.42 %), Robert Stupka of the B.C. Green Party 1,746 votes (12.97%), B.C. Conservative Mark Thompson 908 votes (6.65%) and Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo 110 votes (0.81%). Only 29 per cent of the 46,800 eligible voters cast ballots.

When he was in Kelowna in December at NDP candidate Shelley Cook’s nomination meeting, Premier John Horgan said he planned to call the byelection to give the winner enough time to be in the legislature for the budget. But calling it for Feb. 14 meant that would not happen.

Stewart, however, is expected to be sworn in as MLA before the actual vote on the budget takes place. That vote normally takes place a few weeks after the budget is presented in the legislature by the finance minister and is debated by MLAs.

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


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce hears cases for and against proportional representation

Official proponent and opponent speak about the pros and cons of changing how we vote provincially

Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo comes to captivate Kelowna

The show premiers Oct. 17 at Prospera Place

Kelowna mayoral candidates spar over support

Tom Dyas claims Colin Basran’s former campaign manger from seven years ago ‘abandoned’ him

WATCH:Tommy Chong has a special message for Kelowna

Chong was meant to attend a legalization day party that has now been rescheduled

Temporary detour on Boucherie Road detour changes

The detour will be Oct. 19 and 20 for paving

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Most Read