B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson addresses party convention in Vancouver, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. (Facebook)

Andrew Wilkinson rallies party as B.C. referendum, byelection approach

B.C. Liberals have more MLAs, less money than ruling NDP

Andrew Wilkinson’s first party convention as B.C. Liberal leader comes at a key time for the opposition, trying to defeat a referendum the party sees as eroding their Liberal-Conservative coalition and tilting the province towards their opponents’ urban base.

Wilkinson also aims to take a stronghold seat in Nanaimo, held by the NDP since 2005, in a byelection that could tighten an already thin margin for the minority NDP government in Victoria.

At the convention at a downtown Vancouver hotel Saturday, the party had a “referendum rally” with a lineup of speakers targeting the method and choices of the proportional representation referendum designed by the NDP and B.C. Green Parties.

Wilkinson began his speech by crediting former premier Christy Clark and Skeena MLA Ellis Ross for his work as Haisla chief councillor in laying the groundwork for the LNG Canada export facility planned for Kitimat.

Premier John Horgan has said he will call a by-election for Nanaimo by January, after a long-time NDP MLA Leonard Krog resigning his seat to take up his new job as Nanaimo mayor, which he is expected to do soon. His departure brings the standings in the legislature to 42 B.C. Liberal seats, 40 held by the NDP and three for the B.C. Greens.

Speaker Darryl Plecas sits as an independent, expelled from the B.C. Liberals for standing for the job and cementing the NDP minority government. If the B.C. Liberals win the Nanaimo seat, Plecas would be required to cast deciding votes if only one NDP or Green MLA is unavailable.

The B.C. Liberals find themselves in the unaccustomed position of not only being opposition, but falling behind the NDP in the new era of personal-only political donations.

The B.C. NDP raised $1.26 million from individual donations in the first six months of 2018, nearly double the take of the B.C. Liberals in the same period.

The B.C. Liberal Party total was $748,000, and the B.C. Green Party took in $271,000, according to interim finance reports released Wednesday by Elections B.C.

The individual donations are on top of the public subsidy that began to be paid this year, starting at a rate of $2.50 per vote earned by each party in 2017. That subsidy pays out about $27 million from taxpayers to the three eligible parties over five years, splitting about $2.4 million that was paid out at the beginning of 2018.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s Christmas light contest winners chosen

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce announces winners in holiday light-up contest

GUEST COMMENT: Raise a street kid in Nanaimo

Streets are important for childhood development, says guest columnist

Nanaimo swimmers show their team spirit at Blue and Gold Night meet

Nanaimo Riptides co-operate at team-building event

Sea Kings’ final flight holds special meaning for Nanaimo family

Dozens of people turn out with family of pilot to wave farewell to Sea King helicopters

Province announces partnerships to develop old Harewood School site

B.C. housing minister in Nanaimo to announce province is working with city, school district

Sea Kings’ final flight holds special meaning for Nanaimo family

Dozens of people turn out with family of pilot to wave farewell to Sea King helicopters

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Station wagon crashes into supermarket in Nanaimo

No one hurt as car collides with new Quality Foods store in Harewood

B.C. Green Party members in Nanaimo vote yea for Ney

Michele Ney, daughter of former mayor Frank Ney, wins B.C. Green Party nomination

Driver unharmed in high-speed rollover crash on Trans-Canada Highway

Jeep and minivan involved in collision near Nanaimo River Road

Most Read