Premier John Horgan with Kelowna West NDP candidate Shelley Cook at Sunday’s nomination meeting where Cook was acclaimed as the party’s candidate in the upcoming byelection. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna West voters to pick Christy Clark’s replacement in February

Premier John Horgan says while no date yet, he will call the byelection in early January.

B.C. Premier John Horgan is finally ready call the byelection in Kelowna West.

Following the official nomination of Shelley Cook, the NDP’s candidate in the riding on Sunday, Horgan told reporters he will call by byelection in early January, and Kelowna West voters will head to the polls in early February.

He said he wants the winner in the legislature when the NDP government brings down its budget the third week of February.

Horgan has until early February to call the vote, which would be followed by a 28-day campaign.

The seat became vacant Aug. 4 when former Liberal premier Christy Clark quit politics after the NDP and the B.C. Greens teamed up to defeat her minority government following last May’s provincial election. In that election, the Liberals won 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three.

The current numbers in the B.C. Legislature are 41 seats each for the NDP and the Liberals, three for the B.C. Greens and one independent—speaker Daryl Plecas, a former B.C. Liberal. Kelowna West remains vacant.

The Liberals are currently in the midst of leadership contest to replace Clark, with six candidates vying for the job. They debated each other Saturday in Kelowna.

In the upcoming byelection, Cook will run against the riding’s former Liberal MLA Ben Stewart and a Green candidate who will be named Monday.

Horgan said he did not ask Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to refrain from fielding a candidate in Kelowna West to give Cook a better chance of winning. He said he is confident Cook can win despite the riding’s long history of electing first Social Credit MLAs and then B.C. Liberal MLAs.

“I think voters here are tired of the Liberals treating this riding like a commodity, to be traded,” said Horgan, noting with the upcoming byelection there will have been four elections in Kelowna West in the last four years—two provincial elections and two byelections.

In 2013, Stewart stepped down after being re-elected in Kelowna West to allow Clark to run. She easily won the byelection and in May was re-elected with 59.6 per cent of the vote over Cook, who finished second and and Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu.

Horgan said he plans to return to the riding often between now and the byelection to campaign for Cook.

To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Terrace hockey player breaks all-time points record in Major Midget League

Prospects are bright for Mason Richey, suiting up this fall with the West Kelowna Warriors

UPDATE: Cullen demands better leadership over salmon crisis

MP urges ground-level cooperation amidst grim estimates of sockeye, chinook returns

Runners get festive in Terrace St. Patricks Day Run

Nearly all decked out in green, more than 160 people ran the first Terrace St Patty’s Day Run today

Junior Rage takes fifth in Super Series

The Terrace 16U girls won five and lost one game, making an impressive comeback in their final match

Terrace daycare at the centre of debate in B.C. Legislature

MLA for Chilliwack-Kent asked if new NDP health tax would apply to daycares like Willow Creek

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

Most Read