Clark to run again in Okanagan
Premier of B.C. acclaimed for Kelowna West riding at local event on Saturday
West Kelowna could have the premier’s ear for another term should the B.C. Liberals win the Kelowna West riding and provincial election set for May 2017.
Any speculation that Premiere Christy Clark would return to run in a Vancouver riding in the 2017 provincial election was put to rest when Clark was acclaimed as the BC Liberal party candidate for the Kelowna West riding at the Beans n’ Jeans Social at Bylands Nursery on Saturday evening. The event, which was open to the community and B.C. Liberal Party members, saw Okanagan Liberal MLAs, as well as current and former municipal and federal politicians among the guests.
Clark became the MLA for Westside-Kelowna in a by-election in 2013 after Liberal MLA Ben Stewart stepped aside for Clark to run. The premier had lost to David Eby in her riding of Vancouver-Point Grey in the provincial election.
“I built a home here, my son loves it here and I’ve been welcomed with open arms here,” said Clark about her decision to run in the Okanagan
Dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans, Clark gave a rousing speech to a crowd of almost 500 before unfurling an election banner.
“We’re going to be heading into a campaign in April. Everything is gearing up and everybody is excited,“said Brad Bennett, son of former B.C. premier Bill Bennett and chair of BC Hydro, who nominated Clark.
Bennett urged the crowd to keep the energy building.
“Our biggest enemy when things are feeling good isn’t the NDP necessarily, it’s apathy within our own ranks,” he said.
In her speech, Clark talked of the provincial Liberals’ record of balanced budgets, surpluses, job creation and economic growth.
“When you look across North America, there isn’t a single economy that is succeeding the way the British Columbia economy is,” said Clark.
She credited the people of B.C.’s optimism for the province’s success. “I believe in the sense of optimism that people here have; the self-reliance that British Columbians carry inside them every day; the willingness to work hard, to build a society that we can be proud of, where we have wealth to share with one another.”
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater was pleased at the possibility of having the premier of B.C. as an MLA again.
“Christy Clark is good for West Kelowna,” Findlater said. “She has been an incredible MLA for us.”
Findlater listed off projects Clark has helped with such as the BC Hydro second transmission line, McDougall Creek funding and funding for the Horizon Lift station.
Should the B.C. Liberals return to power and Clark be re-elected, Findlater has a long list of projects such as work on Highway 97 including a second crossing and second corridor that would move the highway away from the couplet as well as infrastructure projects such as another treatment plant in the Lakeview system.
When asked what West Kelowna projects Clark would support should she be re-elected, she responded there was more work to do on the health centre for West Kelowna, as well as improving transportation by changing the couplet and getting the second crossing underway.
Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson’s candidacy will be announced this weekend at the Eldorado Hotel.
Brad Bennett, left, son of former B.C. premier Bill Bennett, smiles as Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna, was acclaimed as the B.C. Liberal candidate for the Kelowna West riding for the May 2017 election. Below: Bennett and Clark hold up a banner.
Young Kelowna musician Elias Ord and Ian Roberts of Wales take a photo with Premier Christy Clark after her speech.
Clark gave a rousing speech to the crowd of almost 500.
Almost 500 people gathered at Bylands on Saturday evening to see Christy Clark acclaimed as the B.C. Liberal candidate for the Kelowna West riding.