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.

Just Posted

Sarah Wark faces do-or-die match at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark’s rink will face Manitoba Thursday morning with a championship pool berth on the line.

Chilliwack Chief Kevin Wall nominated for BCHL awards

Wall is in the running for MVP and top rookie, and will find out if he’s won before the playoffs.

Permaculture group planning a seed swap

The AGM is Feb. 23 for Valley Permaculture Guild members

Chilliwack-Kent MLA unimpressed with ‘classic NDP high-tax-and-spend budget’

Laurie Throness said there was nothing in Tuesday’s presentation for Chilliwack

Effort to move Chilliwack heritage house on Maitland falls through

Next up is an open house where interested parties can purchase heritage elements from the developer

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read