Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster (left) and Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo are excited for the upcoming leadership race within their B.C. Liberal party. (Morning Star file photos)

Local MLAs excited for leadership race

Eric Foster, Greg Kyllo both impressed with list of candidates declared for B.C. Liberal leadership

Greg Kyllo senses renewal in his party.

The Shuswap Liberal MLA was talking about the plethora of candidates that have put their name forward to become leader of the provincial party, replacing former premier Christy Clark.

“It’s a great list of candidates that have come forward,” said Kyllo. “There’s lots of excitement in the party.”

Among those who have officially declared to replace Clark are:

Former Dawson Creek Mayor Mike Bernier, former provincial education minister;

Mike de Jong, 23-year MLA for Abbotsford West who has served six terms. He was appointed finance minister in 2013 after having served as minister of helath, attorney general, minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation, labour minister and minister of forests;

Former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. He was first elected to the legislature in 2013, and served as minister of community, sport and cultural development. He was also responsible for TransLink in the Clark government;

Former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. She was elected federally in South Surrey-White Rock in 2015, but announced she was stepping down as MP to chase the B.C. Liberal leadership;

Terrace businesswoman Lucy Sager; has never held political office but has worked behind the scenes for the B.C. Liberals;

Vancouver-Quilchena MLA Andrew Wilkinson. Has served as both minister of advanced education and minsiter of technology, innovation and citizens’ services.

Vancouver-Langary MLA Michael Lee. First-term MLA previously served as a special assistant to former prime minister Kim Campbell, and served as parliamentary secretary for housing affordability.

Said to be close to declaring his candidacy is Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, the former transportation minister who was named minister responsible for emergency management in 2015.

If Stone runs, he’s got Kyllo’s support.

“Todd would be an amazing candidate (for leader) for a wide variety of reasons,” said Kyllo, who has expressed no interest himself in putting his name forward.

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster is currently the Liberal Caucus whip. He declares himself neutral when it comes to supporting a candidate.

“If I was seen to be supporting one of the candidates out of Caucus, that might look like I was biased,” said Foster, who is excited about the leadership race.

“There’s lots of interest, which is good. A lot of real good people have put their name forward. And, to answer your next question, no, I’m not interested in running.”

Candidates have until Dec. 29 to declare their bid though a party leadership debate is slated for Oct. 15.

The Liberals won’t select a new leader until Feb. 3.

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Secondary school ranks first in national competition

A local high school’s work in post-secondary preparedness has garnered national recognition

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Dueck answers Hall’s call

Vernon’s Josh Dueck elected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame

Big Band supports children with disabilities in Lake Country

Proceeds from the Okanagan Big Band performance in Vernon supports local kids

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Choir presents a cozy collection of Christmas tunes

Tapestry Women’s Choir and Fireflies Children’s Choir take the Armstrong Bible Chapel stage Dec. 16

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Most Read