A provincial election is set for Oct. 24, 2020. (File photo)

B.C. Election: Parksville Qualicum Beach voters will head back to the polls

Full slate of candidates yet to be announced

B.C. voters will head to the polls on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Provincial NDP leader John Horgan has requested the province’s lieutenant governor, Janet Austin, to call the next election, the B.C. NDP said in a statement Monday morning. The party said Horgan “will address how British Columbians deserve a say in our economic recovery and will decide the future of our province.”

B.C.’s election law specifies a minimum 28-day campaign period with an election falling on a Saturday, so the next available date from Monday’s announcement is Oct. 24. The law currently specifies the next election in the fall of 2021, but permits the lieutenant governor to accept a recommendation for an earlier vote.

Currently, Horgan is leading a minority government under a “confidence and supply agreement” signed in 2017 with the B.C. Green Party. Newly elected Green leader Sonia Furstenau said she met with Horgan on Friday to assure him that the two remaining B.C. Green MLAs would continue to support the government.

READ MORE: Citing stability, Horgan calls snap election for Oct. 24

Elections BC has confirmed advanced voting will take place from Friday, Oct. 16 to Wednesday, Oct. 21.

British Columbians also have the option to vote by mail-in ballot. Elections BC officials will be released information in the days to come.

In Parksville-Qualicum, the only announced candidate thus far is BC Liberal Michelle Stilwell, who will look for a return as MLA.

“Certainly I believe this is an unnecessary election, being called for complete political opportunism,” said Stilwell. “It is taking the goodwill of all parties working together [during the COVID-19 pandemic] for the past seven months, in the best interests of British Columbians, and throwing it out the window in name of politics. I love this community and still want to represent them in the legislature.”

Check the PQB News regularly for updates, as well as full candidate profiles as they become available.

READ MORE: Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser won’t seek re-election

In the Mid-Island Pacific Rim riding, NDP MLA Scott Fraser has announced he will not run again.

Tofino mayor Josie Osborne has announced she will seek the NDP nomination for the riding.

“I have decided to run for the BC NDP because I have seen the devastating impacts this pandemic has had on our communities and I believe John Horgan is the right person to lead the province during this difficult time,” Osborne told Black Press.

Port Alberni city councillor Helen Poon will be the BC Liberal candidate for Mid Island-Pacific Rim.

“The communities of Mid Island-Pacific Rim need an MLA who will work hard to supplement foundational industries like forestry with expanded economic development opportunities that create good-paying, family-supporting jobs,” said Poon in a press release.

— NEWS staff, with files from Black Press

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