Clark to run in byelection May 11

Premier Christy Clark chaired a cabinet meeting in Vancouver Wednesday.

Premier Christy Clark is running in a byelection in Vancouver-Point Grey on May 11, aiming to get a seat in the B.C. legislature before the spring session ends.

Former premier Gordon Campbell resigned the seat effective March 15, shortly after Clark was selected as the new B.C. Liberal leader and premier. Campbell had held the seat since 1996.

Clark announced Monday she would seek the party nomination for Vancouver-Point Grey, and setting the voting date ends speculation that she might call a spring general election instead.

“I’ve spent the last month putting our families first program into action across the province, and I wanted to make sure we got off to a good start before I decided to seek a seat in the legislature,” Clark said.

She cited the increase in the minimum wage, restoration of $15 million in grants to non-profits from gambling revenues, and a review of BC Hydro rate increases.

Making her announcement at the cabinet offices in downtown Vancouver, Clark noted that while she does not live in that part of the city, her son goes to school there and she has served on the board of Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.

David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, is expected to seek the NDP nomination for Vancouver-Point Grey. The byelection campaign will overlap with the May 2 federal election, and may also compete for public attention with a playoff run by the Vancouver Canucks.

The B.C. legislature is being recalled April 27 for a session that is expected to run through May and into June. If Clark wins a seat, she would likely be declared elected in time to take part in the last days of the session.

The B.C. government must still debate a 2011-12 budget, and pass legislation to change the procedure for handling the harmonized sales tax referendum.

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