Kamloops MLAs Peter Milobar and Todd Stone celebrate their constituency wins May 9. (Facebook)

Todd Stone joins crowded B.C. Liberal leadership field

Eight candidates in running to replace Christy Clark

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone is the eighth candidate to replace Christy Clark as leader of the B.C. Liberal Party.

Stone begins his run with a series of events Tuesday, in Surrey, Victoria and then a rally in his home town. The launch was announced by Peter Fassbender, the former Langley City mayor who lost his seat in May to the NDP’s Jagrup Brar, the incumbent he knocked off in 2013.

Surrey is the home turf of former mayor Dianne Watts, the high-profile party outsider who has resigned her federal seat as a Conservative MP to contest the B.C. Liberal leadership.

Other likely front-runners are Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong, the former finance minister, Vancouver-Quilchena MLA and former party president Andrew Wilkinson and Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, who took over from Fassbender as education minister before the B.C. Liberals lost power this summer.

Also seeking the leadership are former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan, in his second term as MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, rookie Vancouver-Langara MLA Michael Lee and Terrace business business owner and political newcomer Lucy Sager.

The Lower Mainland is a key battleground for the B.C. Liberals, who lost nine seats there to the NDP in the May election while strengthening their hold on the B.C. Interior. The party was reduced to a single seat on Vancouver Island, held by Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell.

Support outside the urban core is vital to the leadership contestants, because the B.C. Liberal Party assigns 100 points to each of the province’s 87 constituencies, to give equal weight to each despite the large majority of party members who live in large cities.

The party has set a spending cap of $600,000 for leadership candidates, with another $50,000 required to pay for the online vote set for early February a series of debates and forums around the province.

The next event is Oct. 15 in Surrey, followed by events in Prince George, Nanaimo, the Thompson-Okanagan and one hosted by the B.C. Liberal Indigenous Network.

The deadline to renew or join the party in time to vote or to run for the leadership is Friday, Dec. 29, with the cost of a membership remaining at $10.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Traffic snarls at Agassiz/Harrison bridge after biker falls on road

A road bicyclist fell from his bike while crossing the bridge and needed medical attention

Complaint about cattle prods at Chilliwack rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

Inquest scheduled into woman’s death while in Chilliwack police custody

BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Charlene Teresa Sakamoto

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

VIDEO: RibFest kicks off in Langley

Free event features barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and brisket from Canada’s top rib artists

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Most Read