Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC Greens again won't run candidate in Westside-Kelowna

The Green Party of British Columbia has made a virtue of skipping the July 10 byelection against Premier Christy Clark in Westside-Kelowna, but the party failed to run a candidate there during the general election as well.

A June 5 Green Party press release quoted leader Jane Sterk saying the BC Liberals had won the general election and taken Westside-Kelowna, where Ben Stewart is stepping down to allow Clark to run, by a wide margin.

"The voters have indicated in both instances that they want a Liberal government," Sterk said. "It is clear that the premier deserves to be in the legislature and we are following the tradition of respecting the wishes of the voters in this regard. We wish the premier success in the byelection and in the upcoming session of the legislature."

Sterk made similar comments last week in an interview outside the legislature the day Andrew Weaver was sworn in as the first Green Party MLA in a provincial legislature in Canada, adding that Clark should be given the chance to get on with governing.

Voters in Westside-Kelowna were not given the opportunity to vote for a Green in the general election, where only the BC Liberals, the NDP and the BC Conservatives ran.

"We didn't run a candidate in the election," acknowledged Sterk. "It's not a riding that historically when we have run a candidate that we've done well with, so it would have taken a pretty spectacular candidate. It would have taken $70,000 and 500 volunteers and just the numbers themselves speak to the difficulty."

On June 11, Stewart was sworn in and resigned as an MLA. Clark announced this morning she has called the Westside-Kelowna byelection for July 10.

Carole Gordon will run for the NDP, having also run in the general election, where she won about 30 per cent of the popular vote. NDP leader Adrian Dix has said his party will mount a strong campaign against Clark.

The Greens sat out two byelections in 2012 as well. At the time Sterk said smaller parties tend to do poorly in byelections and that entering would trigger the need for an audit, a process she said would be expensive and time consuming.

Update, 12:50 p.m.: The BC Conservatives announced their candidate in the byelection will be Sean Upshaw, who ran during the general election in Penticton. The Conservative candidate in Westside-Kelowna had been Brian Guillou.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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