The next provincial election could be called on fairly short notice given that a minority government is in power.
That’s part of the reason for the announcement last week by Diane Janzen that she will be seeking the BC Liberal Party nomination for the Chilliwack riding, now held by incumbent MLA John Martin.
“After encouragement from the community and my family, now is the time to put my hard work and commitment towards the issues that are facing Chilliwack residents and the province,” Janzen said.
Janzen is well known in Chilliwack as a former city councillor, former school trustee and chair of the Chilliwack School Board, and mostly recently in her role as executive director of Chilliwack Community Services.
“I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with residents, the business community, organizations, the city and the school board to move our city forward.”
Provincial priorities for Janzen include: a strong economy, affordable auto insurance, health care, education and social issues like homelessness.
To become the party’s official candidate, individuals are chosen at candidate selection meetings in ridings where there’s been a call for open nominations.
The BC Liberals launched a ‘Ready to Run’ initiative in February 2019, which was geared to welcoming more potential candidates with diverse backgrounds, including women and other under-represented groups.
“I think what they want to see is an inclusive party which is representative of Canada,” Janzen said. “I do think we should be reflecting that broad representation.”
To start building support for her nomination, Janzen said she would be selling party memberships to be ready for the next set of openings starting in January 2020.
The first wave of open nominations by the BC Liberals was focused on 11 key ridings.
Janzen is ready to do her due diligence to seek the nomination.
“I have been a longtime BC Liberal, committed to making B.C. the best place on Earth to live, thrive and realize its full potential,” Janzen said.
It’s not the first time she’s decided to run for a provincial MLA seat — or a federal MP seat for that matter.
Janzen stepped down as a Chilliwack city councillor to run as the federal Liberal Party candidate in the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding in the May 2011 election. She placed third behind the New Democrats in that election which saw Mark Strahl take power, but her campaign organization was touted as a model by the party in its rebuilding process.
Janzen then decided in November 2011 to seek the BC Liberal nomination “to be a strong advocate for the needs of local constituents and to ensure strong leadership at the provincial level at a very difficult global economic time.” But she stepped away from the decision to seek the nomination for a seat under the BC Liberal banner about a month later over concern in the party about her chances given her recent run earlier that year for the federal Liberals.