By-election battle in Chilliwack

All these factors put additional pressure on local Liberals as they choose their next candidate for the Chilliwack-Hope riding.

Opposition parties wasted little time gearing up for the by-election expected this spring in the riding of Chilliwack-Hope.

On Friday Barry Penner said he would be leaving the legislature earlier than planned to take a position with a Vancouver law firm. (See story, front page.)

That leaves open a prime opportunity for both the BC Conservatives and the NDP to make gains in a traditionally Liberal territory.

Penner had already said he would not seek re-election when he announced his decision to step down as Attorney General several months ago. However, when it became clear Premier Christy Clark would not be calling an election until 2013, Penner decided not to wait.

BC Conservatives were quick to pounce. Party leader John Cummins promised Friday to run a high-profile candidate in the riding.

NDP Leader Adrian Dix, meanwhile, made clear that his party, too, hoped to make gains on the work done by Gwen O’Mahony, who finished second to Penner in the last election.

Both parties clearly sense an opportunity. Opposition parties tend to do well in by-elections. For one thing, the narrowed focus of the campaign allows them a larger stage for their platforms.

Secondly, voter turnout is usually lower than in a general election, and often draws the protest vote. It’s often seen as a chance to register dissatisfaction with the existing government without fear of actually bringing it down.

All these factors put additional pressure on local Liberals as they choose their next candidate for the riding. Currently only Diane Janzen has announced her intention to seek the nomination. It will be interesting to see if, given the changed landscape, others are so willing to join the fray.

Editor’s Note: Diane Janzen has since said she won’t be running for the nomination

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read