Premier Christy Clark to seek election in Westside-Kelowna; MLA Ben Stewart will step aside

Premier Christy Clark will seek election to the BC Legislature in the riding of Westside-Kelowna, after MLA Ben Stewart announced he would step aside.

“I am humbled by Ben Stewart’s unselfish act of character and generosity, and I will be asking the voters of Westside-Kelowna for their support in the pending byelection,” Clark said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“It is a great honour that our riding has the opportunity to be represented by Premier Christy Clark and it continues a past tradition of British Columbia premiers in the Okanagan,”  Stewart said in the statement.  “She has a strong mandate and I am doing my part to ensure she is in a position to deliver on her vision for a strong economy and secure tomorrow.”

Clark and Stewart met supporters, local residents and the media to announce the decision.  Clark will return to the riding once the cabinet announcement and swearing-in is complete.

“I look forward to earning the support of local voters to represent this area.  I will do it with dedication and enthusiasm, backed by a strong group of seatmates that includes Norm Letnick, Steve Thomson, Eric Foster and Dan Ashton,” Clark said.

This means Christy will be almost  right next door to Columbia River-Revelstoke. We can hope that more regular exposure to Interior BC life might open her eyes to conditions outside the Island and the Lower Mainland.

Hard on the heels of Christy’s announcement, NDP Leader Adrian Dix swiftly said his party would mount “a strong campaign with an Okanagan candidate against the Premier in Westside-Kelowna.”

“The BC NDP will run a candidate with local roots who can offer the people of Kelowna and West Kelowna a strong, local voice in the legislature,” he said in a statement.