Chelsa Meadus has been given the nod to run for the BC Liberal Party in the riding of Maple Ridge-Mission.
With NDP Premier John Horgan issuing a snap election call on Monday, time is short before the Oct. 24 provincial plebiscite. Meadus said she was “acclaimed” to the position, ahead of Onyeke Dozie, without a full vote of the riding’s Liberal party members.
“The party had to make a decision, given the short timeline,” said Meadus, adding she is “really excited” to be the candidate.
It is Meadus’ first time running in a provincial election. She is a first-term member of Maple Ridge council, and a local entrepreneur.
She spoke with Dozie, said he was very professional in stepping aside, and she hopes he will help her campaign.
Meadus said both she and Dozie believe in process, but the party could not afford to lose potentially two weeks to go through a proper nomination process.
“I was in the race to win,” said Dozie, adding he was disappointed. He said it should have been “a process of election, not selection.”
Dozie has been a BC Liberal party member for almost 20 years, he said, and would put his name forward as a candidate in the future.
“I believe in playing as a team. I will put this behind me, and move forward,” he said.
BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson met with Meadus Monday, and the party sent out a press release on Tuesday introducing her and 18 other new candidates across the province.
“Yesterday, John Horgan dissolved the BC Legislature and engineered an unnecessary and irresponsible early election. He is leaving British Columbians without a functioning government at a time when people needed leadership most,” said Wilkinson. “Let’s be clear: John Horgan and the NDP’s decision to call this election, in the middle of a global pandemic, is nothing more than an irresponsible and cynical attempt to increase his own power.”
At a news conference in his home community of Langford Sept. 21, Horgan said he has “struggled mightily” with the decision to call an early vote, but the long duration of the pandemic requires stability. That stability is eroded three and a half years into his term with former B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver sitting as an independent and preparing to retire, he said.