Hodge: Kelowna ties to B.C. premiers continues

The end result was no surprise to the majority of residents and media.

It’s official. Premier Christy Clark is ours whether we want her or not, and according to the election results we want her.

Clark snagged her needed earned spot in the provincial legislature Wednesday, defeating several other candidates in the Westside-Kelowna riding with 63 per cent of the vote.

In reality, the end result was no surprise to the majority of residents and media, though many speculated on the possible reactions and responses if Clark had been trumped and sent packing by the electorate.

However, in true Social Credit birthplace response, the ballot decision was pretty much a matter of fact long before the election polls even opened.

Clark may now lay claim to her title as provincial premier, and has the unique pleasure of continuing the lineage of ‘Kelowna-based’ leaders in Victoria.

In her winning speech, Clark indicated her political aspirations are far from over, stating she would work hard for the local voters now and into the next election.

Interesting enough, Clark still would have won the fight even if only NDP candidate Carole Gordon had opposed her since all of the votes to the remaining other candidates involved would still not have earned Gordon a win.

Clark snagged more than 60 per cent of the vote—over 10,600—with Gordon earning nearly 30 per cent of the more than 17,000 ballots cast.

Forgotten already, of course, is the advanced scout who helped path find the victory for Clark, kicked to the curb former MLA Ben Stewart.

Stewart joined a dozen or so Liberal MLA ‘team players’ who offered up their earned elected seats won in the May 14 provincial election to give the premier an opportunity to run in another riding and gain a seat in the legislature.

Despite story-bending by others, Clark decided which riding she would take her second chance on, and she picked Westside-Kelowna.

Stewart smiled the hero’s smile and naturally tossed his support behind her. However, now that the election song and dance is over, it will be interesting to see when and how he is rewarded for his loyalty.

Make no mistake, Stewart did not want to go. He will not get a pension for completing a second elected term, nor will he earn the lucrative dollars as an MLA along with all the perks that go with the public spotlight and abuse.

So what will Clark bestow as a way of saying thanks to Stewart and acknowledging his sacrifice?  Alas, only time shall tell.

Regardless, Stewart did a good job in his tenure as our MLA, worked hard and humbly, and deserves a hearty ‘well done.’

Thanks, Ben


Now that we have closed the books on one of B.C.’s favourite games—silly politics—we may as well have one final summer segment on another silly B.C. passion—the Vancouver Canucks.

Following quickly on the heels of the bizarre and disappointing announcement that the Canucks hired John Tortorella as their new head coach comes the surprising announcement that the team has traded young goaltender Corey Schneider to New Jersey instead of unloading Roberto Luongo.

Say what?

Not only is Vancouver stuck with Lou’s absurd contract, but also, it seems, with the controversy and distraction.

At the end of the day, all Vancouver received for the talented Schneider is the ninth overall first round pick, which is a fleecing in itself.

Ironically, that decision was announced a few days prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning giving up on veteran star Vincent LeCavalier and letting him resign with another club.

There had been rumours of Vancouver dealing Luongo for LeCavalier during last season, yet Vancouver GM Mike Gillis once again did nothing.

Surely Gillis’ days must be numbered as GM.

Not only did he trade away or lose young players in the past such as Michael Grabner and Cody Hodgson, he has now lost Schneider and hired a throw-back bully as coach.

Yup—time to toss in the Canuck fan club membership and hit the beach.


Kelowna Capital News