BC Conservatives eager for Chilliwack-Hope by-election

The BC Conservatives are licking their political chops over the idea of a possible by-election victory in the Chilliwack-Hope riding.

The BC Conservatives are licking their political chops over the idea of a possible by-election victory in the Chilliwack-Hope riding.

The riding has been a “small-c conservative” strong-hold for many years, BC Conservative vice-president Ben Besler said Monday.

“I think that puts us in a really good position,” he added, to take the riding in a by-election to fill the seat vacated by BC Liberal MLA Barry Penner.

Besler said a nomination meeting is expected early in the new year, and he suggested that a candidate already considering a bid would be “a happy surprise” to party members.

Local New Democratic Party officials were not available Monday to comment on the possible impact of a split in the conservative vote here.

In 2009, Penner won the riding with more than 53 percent of the vote, followed by NDP candidate Gwen O’Mahony with 33.4 percent. The BC Conservatives did not run a candidate in the riding.

BC Liberal Diane Janzen, who declared her intention to run for the party’s nomination before Penner’s unexpected announcement last week, said Monday that a by-election win in the riding held by the party since 1996 could not be taken for granted.

But she believed the pro-HST vote in Chilliwack-Hope and in the Chilliwack riding, which bucked the province-wide results, is a sign the BC Liberals have a strong base of support here.

“BC Liberal values are what resonates with the public, particularly in these two ridings,” she said.

But Besler pointed out that a narrow one percent of voters in the two ridings supported the BC Liberal government’s position to keep the HST, not exactly a show of overwhelming support.

Besler said winning the Chilliwack-Hope by-election and another in Port Moody-Coquitlam triggered by the resignation of BC Liberal MLA Iain Black are “at the very front and centre of our priorities.”

No date has been set for either by-election.

Penner told The Progress Monday that his decision to resume his career in law, which followed his earlier announcement that he would not be running for re-election, should not have been a surprise to party officials.

“I’ve been pretty upfront that my plans were to start looking to my future,” he said, and party officials were aware he was considering a position as senior counsel at Davis LLP, a Vancouver law firm, starting in January.

No date has been set for the BC Liberal nomination meeting.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

Just Posted

Details of Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with police taken at special meeting on Wednesday

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Chilliwack firefighter seeking to reunite Rosedale VFD’s old auxiliary fire pump with antique engine

It’s been four decades, but Pat Liebault is hoping to reunite Rosedale’s auxiliary pump and engine

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read