Premier Clark seeks Kelowna seat

Kelowna-Westside was former premier Bill Bennett's seat, current MLA Ben Stewart stepping aside

Premier Christy Clark introduces her son Hamish to residents at a seniors' home during the recent election campaign. She will campaign again in the Okanagan starting next week

Premier Christy Clark will run in Westside-Kelowna in a by-election expected to be held in mid-July, after re-elected MLA Ben Stewart announced he was stepping down.

Clark praised Stewart Wednesday at an announcement held at Quail’s Gate winery on the shore of Okanagan Lake. Stewart, who won with 58 per cent of the vote, said he would return to running the winery and other parts of his family business, and will continue to volunteer for the B.C. Liberal Party.

Clark said the by-election will likely be called next week, and if she wins the seat she will establish a second residence in the area.

She dubbed the Kelowna area “the cradle of free enterprise in Canada,” and noted it was represented by former premiers W.A.C. and Bill Bennett, whom she called the “Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky” of B.C. political leaders.

“When you think of the vision that W.A.C. Bennett brought to building our province, and you think of the vision that Bill Bennett brought to controlling the growth of government spending, and keeping taxes low for the people here, a great offence and a great defence,” Clark said.

Clark said Stewart was one of several MLAs who offered their seats after she lost her own bid for re-election in Vancouver-Point Grey. Stewart served one term and will not be eligible for an MLA pension, which requires six years’ service.

Results of the May 14 election became official Wednesday, after a judicial recount confirmed a 41-vote win for NDP candidate Selina Robinson in Coquitlam-Maillardville. The B.C. Liberal majority stands at 49 B.C. Liberals, 34 NDP, Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver and Delta South independent MLA Vicki Huntington.

Clark reiterated her campaign promises to balance the budget and begin paying down the provincial debt, with a 15-year target to become debt free.

She has indicated the legislature will be recalled this summer to pass the budget that was presented in February, which forecasts budget surpluses for the next three years.

Just Posted

McCallum’s canal pitch took Surrey councillors by surprise

City government has more important issues pressing than building a canal, councillors say

South Surrey senior ‘irate’ over policing-transition venue change

Pat Anderson says she disagrees with the transition plan – but never got a chance to say so

White Rock water testing well within Health Canada guidelines

Drinking water more than measuring up to current standards, Dr. Saad Jasim tells council

Cloverdale Toastmasters celebrate 25 years of learning and laughter

Cloverdale club is a high achieving, yet laid-back Toastmasters group

Surrey RCMP conducting drug-related search warrant

Traffic closed in both directions on 128th Street, between 64th and 66th Avenue

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read

l -->