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

Chef Lesnes is leaving the Garibaldi kitchen

He is retiring after 30 years.

Untrending: Welcome to the age of domotics

‘Smart home systems might even ensure a cleaned cat litter box.’

Work to start on Albion Community Centre next week

Politicians hold sod turning event on Saturday

Maple Ridge celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Ceremonies, music and dancing in Memorial Peace Park on Saturday

Burrards pull off blockbuster trade

Add elite NLL talent on offence and in goal

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Most Read