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

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

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
AUDIO: Interview with broadcaster and Island resident Terry David Mulligan

PQBeat podcast asks Nanoose Bay resident about radio and TV career, wine and more

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
New executive director leading Nanaimo hospice at a time when grief counselling is greatly needed

Paige Karczynski takes over as Nanaimo Community Hospice Society begins its 40th year

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (Elena Rardon/Black Press)
Port Alberni pressures owner of demolished hotel, Lantzville’s Pottie, for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Mount Arrowsmith. Three skiers were rescued from the south side of the mountain on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 with one woman taken to hospital in Comox. (Nancy Randall photo)
Injured skier among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke senior narrowly avoids lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building

‘Multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

Most Read