VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC heads to the polls in just over eight months time and we are getting a better idea of just who will be running for re-election.
Two more MLAs have announced they won’t be on the ballot next May.
This week, Health Minister Terry Lake and NDP Early Childhood Development Critic Maurine Karagianis both announced they will not be running in 2017.
Losing Lake is seen as a setback for Premier Christy Clark heading into the next election. “He’s been a really solid performer for her,” explains political scientist Michael Prince, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Victoria.
“First he was Environment Minister, which is always a challenging and high-profile portfolio in BC, [and] then the Health Minister for a good period of time,” he says. “There’s not much else for him, other than being Premier I think, that would entice him to want to stay around much longer!”
Prince adds out MLAs not planning to run again were encouraged to make their intentions known by Labour Day.
Lake is also the fifth member of the Premier’s team to announce their retirement, which Prince points out is a much different scenario than the last election campaign when 17 Liberal incumbents decided not to run.
“Christy Clark is going into this election with most of the caucus behind her and not that sense of people jumping ship that there was before the 2013 election.”
Lake joins the likes of Bill Bennett, Don McCrae, Moira Stilwell, and Pat Pimm in not seeking re-election.
On the other side of the aisle, Karagianis is the sixth New Democrat to announce retirement. Prince says he loss will be keenly felt too. “She has a riding next door to John Horgan, they know each other quite well here in the Greater Victoria area, so [it’s another] loss of a performer there.”
The next provincial election is set for May 9, 2017.
Interview with Michael Prince: