Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Many former mayors, councillors now in the Leg

Almost 40 per cent of the 85 elected candidates in last week's general election had previous experience in local governments.

Twenty-two Liberals, 10 NDPs and one Independent elected had served at least one term as mayor or councillor before running for MLA.

Of the 22 Liberals with previous local government experience, only eight held seats last term. Six of the 14 newly elected Liberals will replace an NDP MLA.

Peter Fassbender ran against NDP incumbent Jagrup Bar for the Surrey-Fleetwood seat and won by less than two percentage points. The votes he obtained represented almost seven more points than the ones obtained by Jagmohan Singh, the Liberal candidate in the 2009 election.

Fassbender, who announced shortly after the election he would be leaving his post as mayor of Langley, believes that his experience in local government helped him during the election process.

"I think [my past experience] allowed people to consider not only what I'm going to do, but also what I have already done," he said.

Fassbender also believes his experience negotiating at local, provincial, and federal level while serving as mayor and councillor helped him to be confident in his ability to make a significant contribution in the legislative assembly.

Mary Sjostrom, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, thinks that having MLAs with previous experience in government will not only benefit the provincial government, but also the municipal governments.

"I just think it's a bonus when you have so many people who know first-hand the many issues affecting local governments and bring that experience to Victoria," she said.

Sjostrom thinks that it's too soon to determine if having MLAs with local government experience could become a trend, but she personally believes that experience is a good asset for a candidate.

"If I was looking for a candidate, I think it would be good to have folks with local government experience," she said.

Carlos Tello is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus