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RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Kelowna West provincial by election in BC Feb 14 Reply with quote

( well normally a provincial by election in a long time BC liberal riding would mostly be ignored , this one is likely to generate more attention due to the extremely close numbers in the legislature and shaky green / ndp coalition )


Waters: Plenty at stake in Kelowna West byelection

Premier may not have called the byelection yet, but the campaign has already started
Alistair Waters/
Jan. 10, 2018 6:30 a.m./
Columnists/
Opinion


Late last month, Premier John Horgan said he planned to call the Kelowna West byelection early this month.

But the candidates vying to replace the now departed former MLA, Christy Clark, are not waiting for Horgan to act. For all intents and purposes, the campaign is already underway.

The candidates—Liberal Ben Stewart, B.C. Green Robert Stupka, B.C. Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo and Shelley Cook of the NDP—are out trolling for votes as we speak, knocking on doors and bringing in party heavy-hitters to support them.


Last week B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver was here to support Stupka and said he’ll be back many times between now and voting day, Liberal leadership candidate Micheal Lee was out door-knocking with Stewart on the weekend and Horgan showed up at Cook’s nomination meeting rallying the troops and talking like the NDP had already won the seat.

There’s no question Kelowna West will be a hotly contested race.

And, with the numbers in the B.C. Legislature so tight, all the parties are expected to throw everything they’ve got at the byelection.

For the Liberals, who have history on their side when it comes to winning in the riding, retaining the seat will reunite Stewart with his former legislative colleagues Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick. Stewart was the MLA for the riding from 2009 to 2013, when he stepped down to let Clark run in a byelection after she lost her Vancouver-area seat in the 2013 provincial election.

But Cook, who ran second to Clark in the riding in last May’s provincial vote, has her sights going one better this time and giving the NDP a one-seat edge over the Liberals in the legislature. Horgan has made it clear, he wants that extra vote when it comes to passing the upcoming provincial budget next month.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Greens—who are keeping the NDP in power through an agreement Horgan and Weaver struck last summer, are looking to build on the momentum they created in May’s election. Weaver is touting the influence Stupka would have in Victoria should he be elected given the Greens’ support of the NDP.

There’s no doubt B.C political eyes will be on Kelowna West once Horgan gets around to announcing the date of the byelection—a move that could come any day now.

With the exception of the Libertarian, three of the four candidates are carrying heavy but important loads for their respective parties. The Kelowna West byelection has meaning.

Currently the Liberals and NDP have 41 MLAs each, the Greens have three and speaker Darryl Plecas sits as an independent after being tossed out of the Liberal caucus. That leaves Kelowna West as the one vacancy—the result of Clark’s resignation last August.

After leaving the riding to sit without a political representative for the last five months, voters in Kelowna West can expect plenty of focus from, not only the NDP government, but the Opposition Liberals and the B.C. Greens as well.

After all, this time, there’s plenty at stake.


https://www.kelownacapnews.com/opinion/waters-plenty-at-stake-in-kelowna-west-byelection/
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the by election is also oddly on Valentines day , which will surely cause a drop in turn out as some people will have other concerns that day. and voting in a by election may not be top of mind although some could instead vote in advance polls I guess )


B.C. byelection: Kelowna West voters will elect new MLA on Valentine's Day


Staff Reporter


Published:
January 17, 2018


Updated:
January 17, 2018 2:43 PM PST


Filed Under:

The Province ›
News ›
Politics ›


Premier John Horgan has called a byelection for the Kelowna West electoral district for Wednesday, Feb. 14. The seat became vacate when Christy Clark resigned last July.

Premier John Horgan has called a byelection for the Kelowna West electoral district for Wednesday, Feb. 14. The seat became vacate when Christy Clark resigned last July.


B.C. Premier John Horgan has set a date of Feb. 14 for a byelection in the provincial riding of Kelowna West.

The seat became vacant in July when former premier Christy Clark resigned as MLA and quit as leader of the B.C. Liberals after her party lost a June confidence vote in the aftermath of the provincial election, which had delivered a hung parliament.

Clark had held the Kelowna West seat since winning a 2013 byelection which made necessary after her defeat in her home Point Grey riding to then upstart NDP candidate David Eby, who is now B.C.’s attorney general.

Former cabinet minister Ben Stewart, the Liberal MLA who surrendered the Kelowna West seat to Clark in 2013, will run again for the Liberals in the Valentine’s Day byelection.

Meanwhile, Shelley Cook, who ran and lost against Christy Clark in last May’s provincial election, was acclaimed as the NDP candidate at a Dec. 3 nomination meeting in West Kelowna.


Robert Stupka is the B.C. Green Party nominee.

Advance voting will be available over six days from Feb. 6 to Feb. 11.


http://theprovince.com/news/po.....0ef93dc3ae
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Law & Politics

Byelection for Kelowna-West set for Feb. 14

Liberal who gave up his seat for Christy Clark to run again in byelection

By Nelson Bennett | Jan. 17, 2018, 11:18 a.m.



Ben Stewart, right, with Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong and supporters.



Voters in Kelowna-West will go to the polls again February 14 for the second time in less than a year in a byelection to fill the seat vacated by former premier Christy Clark.


The outcome of the February 14 vote could change the math in the legislature in favour of the NDP-Green coalition in a significant way, if either an NDP or Green candidate were to win the seat.

The Liberals won 43 seats in the May 2017 general election, but lost two seats when Darryl Plecas, who was removed from the Liberal Party after he accepted the role of Speaker of the House, and Clark resigned as leader and MLA, bringing the Liberals temporarily down to just 41 seats. The NDP also hold 41 seats, but can count of the Green Party’s three members, since they have a governing agreement.

Should either NDP or Green candidates win Kelowna West, that would give the NDP and Greens 45 seats to the Liberals’ 41. That would give the GreeNDP coalition a bit more comfort and stability than the slender single seat plurality they initially had. Such a slender plurality makes a minority government vulnerable to losing confidence votes.


However, Kelowna-West is considered a safe seat for the Liberals. It is so safe, in fact, that it became a parachute riding in 2013, when Clark lost her seat in the 2013 general election.

Ben Stewart, who is now running again for the Liberals in Kelowna-West, resigned shortly after winning the riding in 2013 to allow Clark run in a byelection. Stewart was rewarded with a post in Beijing as the Liberal government’s Special Representative in Asia.

Shelley Cook, the NDP candidate who ran against Clark in the May 2017, is again running in the byelection for the NDP.

Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu is not running for the Greens in the upcoming byelection. Robert Stupka will be running for the Greens in the byelection.

In the last general election, Clark won 59% of the vote, Cook got 25% and Mellalieu got 14%.

Ian Bushfield, co-host of the PolitiCoast podcast, said he thinks the byelection will be an easy win for the Liberals.

"The Greens are trying to play it up as their chance and Robert Stupka looks like a strong choice for them," he wrote. "That said, the best I could see them doing is closing the gap with the NDP. The one advantage the NDP and Greens have here is that turnout is usually low in byelections and BC Liberal supporters are likely less motivated than the others."


https://www.biv.com/article/2018/1/byelection-kelowna-west-set-feb-14/
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greens, NDP see signs of Liberal weakness in Kelowna West by-election

By John McDonald


Ben Stewart couldn't hold back tears as he announced he was giving up his seat in the legislature for Premier Christy Clark, in this 2013 file photo.


(MARSHALL JONES / iNFOnews.ca)

January 17, 2018 - 6:30 PM

Both the NDP and Green candidates for the vacant Kelowna West riding sense weakness in the riding for the B.C. Liberals.

Premier Horgan called a by-election today for the seat most recently vacated by former B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

The seat has been vacant since Clark’s surprise resignation in early August and has long been considered a conservative bastion, reliably voting B.C. Liberal since the riding's creation in 2009 when Ben Stewart first took it.

The Westside winemaker won it again in 2013 but stepped aside so the party leader could find the seat she had been denied in her own riding of Point Grey.

Clark easily won the riding in 2013 and again last year but resigned abruptly last summer, a move demanded by some in the Liberal party but one that critics say gave the fledgling NDP/Green coalition some breathing room.

The difference now is that voters in Kelowna West, which includes a chunk of downtown Kelowna, will be returning an MLA that sits outside government if they opt for the status quo.

“Absolutely that makes a difference. The question for Ben Stewart is ‘what are you selling this time around’," Green candidate Robert Stupka said. “It’s anybody’s guess.”

Stupka says Clark’s desperate last-minute embrace of swaths of both the NDP and Green platforms during the political maneuvering after the election shows the Liberals themselves don’t know what they are.

“So what flavour of Liberal am I voting for this time?” the civil engineer said. “It’s hard to get a handle on. They threw it away last time and adopted the Green's policies.”



B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver spent a week in the riding in early January as a signal the party is taking the by-election seriously.

“The most compelling thing we saw was the amount of interest (in us) since we took the balance of power,” Stupka said. “I don’t know if we would have got that amount of attention from the media before.”

NDP candidate Shelley Cook also sees Stewart as vulnerable, and not just because he’s been out of the spotlight for the last four years.

“The demographics are changing,” says Cook, a pHd student and the former executive director of the John Howard Society in Kelowna.

Cook says she’s heard complaints the Liberals have put voters in the riding through four elections in four years.

“That's frustrating for people,” Cook says.

Of obvious value is her status as candidate for the current government and that has made would-be voters more receptive.

“They’re really happy with what they see. They recognize we have hit the ground running… and are taking a direct interest in this region and this riding,” Cook says. “For all those reasons, people are excited and optimistic and we anticipate some interesting things coming out of this by-election.”

B.C. Liberal candidate Ben Stewart did not get back to us in time to be included in this article.

A win by Stewart would give the Liberals 42 seats, an injury or illness away from toppling the NDP-Green coalition majority of 44.

A win by the NDP’s Cook would give it a one-seat edge over the Liberals, reducing its reliance on the B.C. Greens and giving it more latitude with policy initiatives.

A win by Stupka, on the other hand, would give the Greens four seats, strengthening their hand as power brokers while giving them a foothold in the Interior and bolstering their brand across the province.

Kelowna West voters go to the polls Wednesday Feb. 14 with advance voting available Feb. 6 to 11.


https://infotel.ca/newsitem/greens-ndp-see-signs-of-liberal-weakness-in-kelowna-west-by-election/it49517
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the BC conservatives aren't as active as years past but still plan to run a candidate in the by election )


Release | British Columbia
Press Release: BC CONSERVATIVES ANNOUNCE CANDIDATE FOR KELOWNA WEST BY-ELECTION


Bookmark and Share

British Columbia


The British Columbia Conservative Party is excited to announce that Mark Thompson will carry the BC Conservative banner into the Kelowna West by-election.

WireService.ca Media Release (01/24/2018) Vernon, BC - Mark Thompson is a former three term Councillor for the City of Saskatoon who has resided in British Columbia for over two decades. His education includes an MBA and he currently owns several successful IT-related businesses providing solutions to the retail sector.

"I am proud to stand behind Mark," said Scott Anderson, interim leader of the BC Conservative Party. "The citizens of Kelowna West deserve better and they should demand better. In Mark they will find an accomplished individual and a seasoned politician, and I can't think of anyone better able to present our common sense platform to the citizens of West Kelowna. "

Thompson has a long history with the BC Conservatives and has served in various roles including Deputy Leader of the party. He is a fiscal conservative, a forward thinker, and an excellent communicator.

-30-

For more information:

Jeff Bridge, Campaign Manager, BC Conservative Party
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markthompsonbc
Telephone: (778) 892-0059 | http://www.markthompsonbc.ca
http://www.bcconservative.ca


https://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=22740
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Thompson to run for B.C. Conservatives in Kelowna West byelection, as candidate list finalized


More from Stephanie Ip

Published on: January 25, 2018 | Last Updated: January 25, 2018 1:40 PM PST




Mark Thompson, pictured in this undated handout photo, is running for the B.C. Conservatives in the February 2018 byelection taking place in Kelowna West. HANDOUT / PNG


Let’s get this (political) party started.

Mark Thompson has been confirmed as the final candidate for the Kelowna West byelection coming up next month. Thompson will represent the B.C. Conservatives.

The party made the announcement on the same day nominations for the riding closed Wednesday. The finalized candidate list now includes Shelley Cook (NDP), Kyle Geronazzo (Libertarian), Ben Stewart (Liberal), Robert Stupka (Green) and Thompson.


Thompson previously served as a councillor in Saskatoon for three terms between 1985 and 1994, before relocating to B.C. where he has since lived for more than two decades. He has a masters in business administration and owns several IT-related business consulting firms. He was also the deputy leader of the B.C. Conservative Party and has served in other roles.

“I am proud to stand behind Mark,” said Scott Anderson, interim leader of the B.C. Tories.


“The citizens of Kelowna West deserve better and they should demand better. In Mark they will find an accomplished individual and a seasoned politician, and I can’t think of anyone better able to present our common-sense platform to the citizens of West Kelowna. ”

The byelection for Kelowna West goes Feb. 14.


http://vancouversun.com/news/l.....-finalized
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advertisement


Kelowna West all-candidates forum round two

Five byelection candidates pick up where they left off Wednesday night
Alistair Waters/
Feb. 2, 2018 5:30 p.m./
Local News/
News



Round two of the all-candidates forums for the five people running in the Kelowna West byelection went Friday in Kelowna and while the second was much shorter than the first, it elicited the same responses to many of the same questions asked two nights earlier in Westbank.

B.C. Green candidate Robert Stupka, Shelley Cook of the NDP, B.C Liberal Ben Stewart, Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo and B.C. Conservative Mark Thompson all answered questions on a variety of issues including housing affordability, ICBC and transportation.

While Stewart said the current shortage of affordable housing is due in large part to the success of the B.C. economy under the former Liberal government and growth it spurred across the province, Stupka called it a crisis that has a left a generation behind.


He said it is property speculation, foreign buyers with plenty of money and “flipping” homes, particularly in the larger urban centres, and not the Liberal’s management of the economy has driven people with money to the Okanagan and that has helped drive up home prices here.

“We have a housing crisis,” he told the audience the Kelowna’s Okanagan Innovation Centre during the noon-hour forum.

Cook said the current NDP government is looking at measures to end speculation, closing loopholes that allow landlords to “jack up” rents and is also funding construction of new affordable housing across the province for those in need.

As was the case in Westbank Wednesday night, ICBC was a hot-button topic for the candidates Friday.

The former B.C. Liberal government was criticized by Thompson, Stupka and Cook for “siphoning” off millions from ICBC when it was in power, something they believe helped lead to the current financial hole the provincial auto insurer finds itself.

Cook accused Stewart, a former MLA for the riding and a former cabinet minister prior to leaving office in 2013, of being at the cabinet table when the Liberals decided to take money from ICBC.




But Stewart, who stepped down as MLA to let then-Liberal leader and premier Christy Clark run in a byelection in Kelowna West, said ICBC’s financial troubles was well known to the NDP before it came to power, and it has done nothing about them since forming government last year.

He said it was the former Liberal government that ordered a report on ICBC’s finances and that revealed the dire financial picture.

But Stupka said parts of that report were “scrubbed” from public release by the former government.

Geronazzo, who said his discontent with ICBC is one of the main reasons he is running in the byelection, wants to see the auto insurer scrapped and private basic auto insurance introduced in B.C.

“I stand for individual rights over government or collective rights,” he said.

Thompson, as he did Wednesday, again called on the NDP to give back the $1.2 million he says the former Liberal government took from ICBC to help balance its budgets.

On the issue of transportation, Stewart and Stupka again went at it over the elimination of tolls on bridges in the Lower Mainland.

Stewart said it was the wrong move to make because of the revenue loss to the province and the increase in traffic as a result. But Stupka shot back, saying the Liberals were the first to propose reducing bring tolls by 50 per cent, and the NDP eliminated them altogether.



Friday’s all candidates meeting, put on by the Okanagan Young Professionals, was a much shorter affair than the Wednesday night’s three-hour forum in Westbank.

Lasting just and hour, the Friday forum gave candidates just a minute to answer each of the six questions posed to them.

All the candidates closed by trying to make the case why they should be elected.

While Cook and Stupka said they would have influence in government given the NDP is in power and is supported by the three Green MLAs in the legislature, Stewart pointed to his record as a former MLA. Thompson said he would be a “pitbull” in fighting for to constituents and Geronazzo said he would be a fresh face, one that would stand up for individual rights.

The byelection will go Feb. 14 and advance voting is runs Feb. 6 to 11 at the Powers Creek Community Church on Glenway Road in West Kelowna, the Grace Baptist Church on Glenmore Road in Kelowna and at the Kelowna Curling Club on Recreation Avenue in Kelowna. Subsequent advance polls will be held at the same three locations, during the same hours, Feb. 7, 8, 9 and 10.

On Feb. 11, the final day of advance polling will be held at George Pringle Elementary School in Westbank, as well as Grace Baptist Church and the Kelowna Curling Club in Kelowna.

Read more below


Find more information about where, when and how to vote, go to the Elections BC’s byelection webpage here.


https://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/kelowna-west-all-candidates-forum-round-two/
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: Advance poll numbers in Kelowna West

Elections BC says 1,912 ballots were cast on the first two days of advance voting in byelection
Alistair Waters/
Feb. 7, 2018 4:10 p.m./
Local News/
News



Update: Feb 9:

A total of 1,002 ballots were cast on Thursday, the third day of advance voting in the Kelowna West provincial byelection. That brings the total advance poll number to 2,914 according to Elections B.C.

Two more days of advance voting will be held, tomorrow and Sunday. The byelection will go Feb. 14. For advance voting locations this weekend, see below.



Update: Feb 8:

According to Elections B.C., 1070 ballots were cast on the second day of advance voting in the Kelowna West provincial byelection.

That brought the total votes cast in the first two days of advance voting to 1,912.

Original story:

The first day of advance voting in the Kelowna West provincial byelection was not nearly as busy as it was the last few times voters in the riding went to the polls.

According to Elections B.C., 842 ballots were cast on Tuesday ahead of the Feb. 14 byelection.

That’s way down from the 2,201 ballots cast on the opening day of advance voting in last May’s provincial election in the riding and the 2,044 ballots cast on the first day of advance voting in the July 2013 byelection.

That byelection saw former Liberal premier Christy Clark elected as MLA in what was then known as Westside-Kelowna. Clark’s resignation, both as her party’s leader and MLA in August, prompted the upcoming byelection.

It is being contested by B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart, Shelley Cook of the NDP, B.C. Green Robert Stupka, Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo and B.C. Conservative Mark Thompson.

There are five more opportunities to vote early between today and Sunday, Feb 11.

Advance polls will be open until 8 p.m. today, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at the Powers Creek Community Church on Glenway Road and the Super 8 Motel in West Kelowna and at the the Grace Baptist Church on Glenmore Road in Kelowna and the Kelowna Curling Club on Recreation Avenue in Kelowna.

On Sunday, advance voting will be available at George Pringle Elementary School in Westbank, as well the Super 8 Motel, Grace Baptist Church and the Kelowna Curling Club, all open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


https://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/first-day-advance-poll-numbers-in-kelowna-west/
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( there is a high stakes valentines day by election in BC tomorrow , normally a by election in a safe seat this early into a parliament would be virtually ignored by the other parties . but numbers are so tight in the BC legislature 1 vote either way could make a big difference . the BC liberals should be able to hold onto the riding but ndp and greens are focusing more effort than normal )



Voters in Kelowna West head to the polls tomorrow for by-election


Local


by Marcella Bernardo
Posted Feb 13, 2018 12:13 pm PST
Last Updated Feb 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm PST



By-election in Kelowna West to fill seat left vacant when former Premier Christy Clark quit politics



VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Today’s Throne Speech in Victoria might be fresh in the minds of voters casting ballots in tomorrow’s Kelowna West by-election.

The by-election will fill the seat left vacant when former Premier Christy Clark quit politics last summer.

Andrew Watson with Elections BC says turnout was fairly steady during six days of advance voting which wrapped up Sunday.

“It began on Tuesday, February 6th. In all, we saw about 6,100 voters cast their ballots during the advance voting period,” he explains.


“It’s comparable to what we saw in the 2013 Westside Kelowna by-election,” notes Watson. “It’s a little less than what we saw in the 2017 provincial general election for the district, where there were approximately 8,500 ballots cast… the advance voting turnout for this by-election is about 13 per cent of registered voters in the district.”

The five candidates vying to be BC’s newest MLA include Ben Stewart for the Liberals, Shelley Cook for the New Democrats, and Robert Stupka for the Greens.

Stewart gave up the seat in 2013, so Clark could have it after she lost her Vancouver-Point Grey riding to the NDP during the main election.

Stay tuned to NEWS 1130 for the results after the polls close at 8 p.m. Wednesday night.


http://www.news1130.com/2018/0.....-election/
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( in the end , there was no real story here , a BC liberal stronghold easily stayed with the party , the bc conservatives gained slightly but other parties stayed about the same )



BC Liberals celebrate easy win in Kelowna West by-election

Posted By: Ben O'Haraon: February 14, 2018In: CHEK, News, Top Stories



Ben Stewart is returning to the B.C. Legislature as the MLA for Kelowna West.

The founder of Quails’ Gate Estate Winery easily won a by-election on Wednesday to replace former premier Christy Clark.

With 7,692 votes, Stewart took more than 56% of the ballots cast, nearly 3,500 more than the NDP’s Shelley Cook in second place. The BC Green Party’s Robert Stupka finished third.

“Congratulations to Ben Stewart on winning the by-election in Kelowna West, and I want to congratulate Shelley Cook for running a stellar campaign,” said premier John Horgan in a statement Wednesday night.

“I know Ben will represent the people of Kelowna West with integrity and compassion, and I look forward to having him rejoin us in Victoria.”

Stewart had served one term as MLA when he stepped down in 2013 to make way for Clark, who had lost her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey to the NDP’s David Eby.

Stewart was then appointed as the province’s Trade and Investment Commissioner to Asia, an assignment that came with a $150,000 per year salary. Critics at the time called it a patronage appointment.

He left that position at the end of December.

Clark resigned on Aug. 4, just over a month after Premier John Horgan was sworn in. He took office after forming a historic alliance with the B.C. Green Party that followed a tumultuous provincial election.

Clark also resigned as leader of the B.C. Liberal party last summer, saying she was leaving politics and public life for good.

Horgan called for the by-election last month.

The win gives the Liberals the most seats in the Legislature with 42 of the 87 seats. The New Democrats have 41 seats along with the Greens who hold three. There is one independent member, former Liberal and current Speaker Darryl Plecas.


https://www.cheknews.ca/bc-liberals-celebrate-easy-win-kelowna-west-election-419059/
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Voters elect Stewart

Alanna Kelly - Feb 14, 2018 / 11:15 pm | Story: 218926



Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 11:15 p.m.

Liberal Ben Stewart is now the MLA of Kelowna West, again.

Quails' Gate Estate Winery was packed with supporters and friends of Stewart who applauded and congratulated him on Wednesday night.

Stewart said he is humbled by the voters.

“I didn’t believe that we would have as strong of a showing as it is starting to indicating, I am thrilled by that and humbled by the voters and people who got out.”

He won Kelowna West with 7,692 votes, or just under 57 per cent of the ballots cast.

Stewart resigned his from his previous seat in 2013 after winning and allowing Clark to step in.

“I want to make sure there is more access to affordable housing,” said Stewart to the crowd. “if 9,000 new jobs are created then where are all these people going to live and stay?”

Stewart, who is also the founder of Quails' Gate Estate Winery, spoke how the government and Premier John Horgan has made B.C. an island.

“I think the premier really has to look serious at if he wants to be a trading province or be an island on its own,” he said. “We have to have free trade in Canada. That is one of the things I am working for.”

Preliminary numbers shows Stewart winning 7,692 votes. NDP’s Shelley Cook had 1,505, Green’s Robert Stupka with 826, BC Conservative’s Mark Thompson with 435 and Libertarian’s Kyle Geronazzo with 55.

Leader of BC Liberals Andrew Wilkinson FaceTimed Stewart to congratulate him during the evening.

Premier John Horgan issued a statement, saying he knows Stewart "will represent the people of Kelowna West with integrity and compassion."

Horgan also congratulated Cook for running what he called a stellar campaign.

"Given Kelowna West is historically a BC Liberal seat, we knew we were facing an uphill battle," he said.

"I will be in there like the rest of the MLAs making certain that we hold them accountable for every dollar they are promising to spend," he said.

The victory means the Liberals now have 42 seats, one more than the governing New Democrats.

Stewart will be on air with Okanagan Oldies 103.9 Thursday morning. Tune in here.

– with files from The Canadian Press & Jon Manchester


UPDATE: 10:18 p.m.

Ben Stewart has won the Kelowna West byelection.

Preliminary numbers now all polling stations have reported.

Ben Stewart (BC Liberal): 7,692

Shelley Cook (NDP): 3,197

Robert Stupka (Green): 1,727

Mark Thompson (BC Conservative): 898

Kyle Geronazzo (Libertarian): 110


https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-218928-101-.htm
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Kelowna West provincial by election in BC Feb 14

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