Christy Clark has vacated her Kelowna West seat and the party leadership, with Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman (top) acting as interim leader and Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong (bottom) considering a run for the leadership. (Black Press files)

B.C. Liberals set leadership vote for Feb. 2-4

Todd Stone, Mike Bernier, Dianne Watts, Andrew Wilkinson considering run to replace Christy Clark

The B.C. Liberal Party is holding a province-wide vote Feb. 2-4 to select a new leader.

The vote retains many of the rules of the 2011 contest that chose former premier Christy Clark, with every member getting a weighted vote that ensures the decision doesn’t favour urban constituencies with more population and members.

Abbotsford West MLA Mike de Jong announced this week he is considering a second run at the leadership, with the release of a poll finding him likeliest to challenge NDP Premier John Horgan. Another poll gave former Surrey mayor and now South Surrey-White Rock MLA Dianne Watts the edge in public opinion.

Also considering leadership bids are Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone and Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson.

Candidates are required to take part in party-sponsored debates in Surrey, Prince George, Nanaimo, the Thompson-Okanagan region, Vancouver and one event organized by the B.C. Liberal Indigenous Network.

The party is requiring a $50,000 entry fee, which the party executive notes is the same charged by the Ontario Liberal Party in its last leadership event.

A spending cap of $600,000 will be applied to each candidate, not counting entry fees.

Results will be announced at a convention-style event on Feb. 4, just before MLAs convene in Victoria for a new session of the B.C. legislature. With each constituency membership allotted 100 points, members will vote by ranking candidates in order of preference, with the bottom candidate dropped as second and third choices are considered.

The party executive announced Tuesday that former attorney general Geoff Plant will oversee the leadership, and a secure voting service and auditor are being selected. The 2011 contest featured controversies about personal identity numbers sent out by postal mail, and allegations of numbers being misused in the online vote.

“The leadership 2018 rules are rooted in best practices from our previous leadership race and other contests across Canada, and informed by feedback from our grassroots members across the province,” said party president Sharon White.

Clark won the leadership in 2011 over former transportation and finance minister Kevin Falcon and former aboriginal relations and education minister George Abbott, who declined to run in the 2013 election.

Falcon has ruled out a comeback, and rookie Richmond-Queensboro MLA Jas Johal has also said he will not run. By taking over as interim leader since Clark resigned her seat in the wake of the defeat of the B.C. Liberal government, veteran Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman has taken himself out of contention.


 


tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Koksilah Bridge to receive seismic upgrades

The nondescript bridge crosses the Koksilah River just north of the Cowichan Bay Road turnoff

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

Priority offenders nabbed in Shawnigan Lake

A prolific offender was nabbed by Shawnigan Lake RCMP after a brief… Continue reading

Lexi Bainas column: Celebrate the solstice or pick up a book

The Cajun Solstice Dance is happening Saturday, June 23.

Mounties raid “extensive” Shawnigan pot grow operation

The execution of three search warrants has yielded three arrests and the… Continue reading

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Coming up in Cowichan: From Conquering Cobble Hill to a garden tour

Conquer Cobble Hill on Saturday, June 23 Mill Bay Marine Search and… Continue reading

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Guildford Park teacher wins big on ‘Jeopardy!’ game show

Ali Hasan, a New Westminster resident, goes for more winnings tonight

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Most Read