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

UPDATE: Police say false bomb threat came from computer and printer in the school

“The threat was a hoax by a student,” said Port McNeill RCMP.

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles still undefeated, dominate Oceanside Generals in Port Hardy

Who can stop the North Island Bantam Eagles? The answer so far this season is, well, no one.

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles tie Victoria Ice Hawks, fall in rematch

The North Island Atom Eagles will be back in league play action at home in January.

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

Most Read