Will she or won’t she?
With the provincial election seven months away, candidates are coming forward in some regions of the province, but things are still quiet in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
It’s not clear whether the current MLA in Parksville-Qualicum, cabinet minister Michelle Stilwell, will seek a second term.
Stilwell has not responded to questions from The NEWS about whether she will run again. She won with just over 50 per cent of the vote in 2013 over her nearest competition, NDP candidate Barry Avis, who garnered 37 per cent of the vote.
Stilwell did tell the Vancouver Sun in a story last week that she hasn’t made her decision. That Sun story said Stilwell is the only person in premier Christy Clark’s cabinet who has not announced election plans.
Craig Keating, president of the provincial NDP, said the party has not selected a candidate.
Glenn Sollitt, Green Party candidate in the last federal election, said he has submitted his papers and hopes to be the local provincial Green candidate on May 9, 2017.
In the area’s other riding, the newly named and slightly changed Mid-Island Pacific Rim, 12-year NDP MLA Scott Fraser said he intends to run again, but points out he still has to go through his party’s process before he is the official candidate.
The constituency — currently called Alberni-Pacific Rim — includes Errington, Coombs and communities like Deep Bay, Bowser and Dashwood.
As of the next election, it will expand from its current boundary near Deep Bay to include Fanny Bay and Cumberland, but not Courtenay.
“That’s the largest change on the Island,” Fraser said of changes recommended by the Electoral Boundaries Commission to adjust for population.
Fraser called Cumberland “a very cool place,” and said he is looking forward to releasing the NDP platform slowly over the coming months.
— NEWS Staff