Christy Clark has vacated her Kelowna West seat and the party leadership, with Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman (top) acting as interim leader and Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong (bottom) considering a run for the leadership. (Black Press files)

Christy Clark has vacated her Kelowna West seat and the party leadership, with Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman (top) acting as interim leader and Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong (bottom) considering a run for the leadership. (Black Press files)

B.C. Liberals set leadership vote for Feb. 2-4

Todd Stone, Mike Bernier, Dianne Watts, Andrew Wilkinson considering run to replace Christy Clark

The B.C. Liberal Party is holding a province-wide vote Feb. 2-4 to select a new leader.

The vote retains many of the rules of the 2011 contest that chose former premier Christy Clark, with every member getting a weighted vote that ensures the decision doesn’t favour urban constituencies with more population and members.

Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong announced this week he is considering a second run at the leadership, with the release of a poll finding him likeliest to challenge NDP Premier John Horgan. Another poll gave former Surrey mayor and now South Surrey-White Rock MLA Dianne Watts the edge in public opinion.

Also considering leadership bids are Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone and Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson.

Candidates are required to take part in party-sponsored debates in Surrey, Prince George, Nanaimo, the Thompson-Okanagan region, Vancouver and one event organized by the B.C. Liberal Indigenous Network.

The party is requiring a $50,000 entry fee, which the party executive notes is the same charged by the Ontario Liberal Party in its last leadership event.

A spending cap of $600,000 will be applied to each candidate, not counting entry fees.

Results will be announced at a convention-style event on Feb. 4, just before MLAs convene in Victoria for a new session of the B.C. legislature. With each constituency membership allotted 100 points, members will vote by ranking candidates in order of preference, with the bottom candidate dropped as second and third choices are considered.

The party executive announced Tuesday that former attorney general Geoff Plant will oversee the leadership, and a secure voting service and auditor are being selected. The 2011 contest featured controversies about personal identity numbers sent out by postal mail, and allegations of numbers being misused in the online vote.

“The leadership 2018 rules are rooted in best practices from our previous leadership race and other contests across Canada, and informed by feedback from our grassroots members across the province,” said party president Sharon White.

Clark won the leadership in 2011 over former transportation and finance minister Kevin Falcon and former aboriginal relations and education minister George Abbott, who declined to run in the 2013 election.

Falcon has ruled out a comeback, and rookie Richmond-Queensboro MLA Jas Johal has also said he will not run. By taking over as interim leader since Clark resigned her seat in the wake of the defeat of the B.C. Liberal government, veteran Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman has taken himself out of contention.


 


tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read