Leonard Krog speaks to the media at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Saturday night after being elected mayor. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Premier promises Nanaimo byelection before February budget debate

Historically safe NDP seat will be vacated by longtime MLA Leonard Krog

The B.C. NDP’s hold on government becomes more precarious with longtime MLA Leonard Krog winning election as mayor of Nanaimo.

B.C. legislature rules require that Premier John Horgan call a by-election for Nanaimo within six months of Krog resigning his seat, which he pledged to do if he was successful in the civic election. During a scrum today at the legislature building, Horgan said Nanaimo will have an MLA in place in time to debate the budget in February.

Krog was elected mayor in a landslide with more than 20,000 votes, more than three times as many as runner-up Don Hubbard.

“I will be resigning my seat in due course and obviously that was the commitment I made,” Krog said Saturday night.

His departure will bring 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. Plecas would be required to cast deciding votes if only one NDP or Green MLA is unavailable.

RELATED: Krog voted in as Nanaimo’s next mayor

“We haven’t won Nanaimo since 2001, but the city is growing and changing fast – so anything can happen,” Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell said in a B.C. Liberal fundraising e-mail that went out within minutes of the Nanaimo mayoral result Saturday evening.

B.C. Liberal Party executive director Emile Scheffel said “a number of well-qualified individuals” have already expressed interest in running in the by-election.

story continues below

In a statement to Black Press Media on Sunday morning, Horgan said he was “excited for the people of Nanaimo” to have Krog as mayor.

“He has dedicated his political life to serving that community, and he is exactly the right person for the job ahead,” Horgan said.

The premier remained confident that Nanaimo would stay NDP.

“Nanaimo has a long history of electing New Democrat MLAs and we’re going to work hard, talk to every voter we can, and we won’t take anything for granted.

“I’m certain we’ll gain a strong member of the BC NDP caucus to work for the people of Nanaimo on the issues they care about, like affordable housing, health care, education and child care.”

– with files from Katya Slepian/Black Press Media


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO)
Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

Nanaimo Track and Field club member Olivia Lundman set a Canadian record in the U18 3,000-metre race walk event at meet in Kamloops this past weekend. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo Track and Field Club race walker sets national record at her first meet of the season

Olivia Lundman breaks 30-year-old mark in U18 3,000-metre race walk

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man with axe in downtown park. (File photo)
Man seen with axe at Nanaimo park, numerous RCMP officers respond

Incident happened Friday evening at Maffeo Sutton Park

Bouquet to the person who sent the beef about the rude couple at the fast food restaurant. I want to say a huge thank you for standing up for that poor person who had to endure their bullying. That couple would be my father and his girlfriend. It’s about time someone told them off.
Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo RCMP are asking the public to keep an eye open for jewelry, watches and other items that were stolen from a residence on Manhattan Way in Lantzville recently. (Photo submitted)
Watches, rings, ID and other items stolen from Lantzville home

Nanaimo RCMP want the public to be on the lookout for items taken in recent break-and-enter

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Rotary Centennial Garden at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Sean Fenzl photo)
New Rotary garden officially open at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park

Rotary Centennial Garden design inspired by the shoreline

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Most Read