Sunday October 3, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
Analysis by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
The full slate of BC provincial election candidates for the 2020 General Election was posted on the Elections BC website on October 3.
The General Election date is Saturday October 24, with seven advance voting days ahead of that, and mail-in voting as a popular option this time around during the pandemic.
There are 332 candidates in total, of which 308 represent 10 registered political parties. The other 24 candidates are running as independents.
Within the relatively short time frame since the election was called suddenly on September 21, the BC Greens managed to set up candidates in 74 ridings, with their leader saying she’s proud of the accomplishments and skillsets that these candidates bring to the political landscape.
The Libertarian party has 25 candidates, and the Conservative party is running 19.
The full list of candidates is posted online. It’s important to know the names of the candidates in your riding, in particular if you are using a mail-in ballot issued prior to October 2 — you will need to write the name of the party or candidate of your choice clearly in the space provided.
Your electoral district is shown on the certification envelope included in your vote-by-mail package. If you need help finding your electoral district or candidates, phone Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683.
The major leaders today Sunday October 4:
- NDP Leader John Horgan will be in the Courtenay-Comox riding with an announcement about seniors, alongside candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard.
- BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson will be in North Vancouver to make an announcement.
- BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau will be taking media questions in Duncan ahead of attending a school family day.
The leaders and their key players:
In the NDP premier John Horgan’s riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca (which he has held since 2005), the BC Liberals are running graphic design entrepreneur Kelly Darwin as what appears to be a last-minute candidate backed by the local business community in Langford. The other two candidates running against John Horgan are Gord Baird (Green) who is a second-term District of Highlands councillor and Tyson Strandlund (Communist) who has also been a candidate federally.
Horgan is running on a people-first campaign, that works broadly in all areas of the economy to achieve progressive goals for the longer term, including jobs and the many impacts of COVID-19 on health, schools and child care.
- Adrian Dix is running again in Vancouver-Kingsway, in a four-way race. Dix has carried the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic as Minister of Health in the Horgan government, focussing largely on surgical renewal and maintaining supplies of PPE as well as overseeing the BC Centre for Disease Control and the work of Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry.
- BC’s Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity at dissolution — Mitzi Dean, NDP — is gunning for a second term in office, up against three other candidates in Esquimalt-Metchosin: Andy MacKinnon (Green) who ran in 2017 with a strong emphasis on environmental issues, RJ Senko (BC Liberal), and Desta McPherson (independent).
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is the returning candidate in Vancouver-Quilchena. He largely promotes the well-being of the business community as an important sector of the provincial economy.
In releasing his list of candidates this weekend, Wilkinson focussed on leadership that is “committed to real recovery” through growing the economy and creating jobs.
- Michael de Jong (former BC Liberal Finance Minister and in 2017-2020 a low-profile Attorney General critic) is back on the slate in Abbotsford West. This indicates the interest of the BC Liberals in working hard on the numbers that Leader Andrew Wilkinson proposes are out of control or misspent during the pandemic this year.
There is a 3-way race for BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau in Cowichan Valley against NDP’s Rob Douglas and Tanya Kaul for the BC Liberals. Furstenau was elected party leader only recently on September 14, but has garnered a lot of media interest and candidate support.
- Adam Olsen (Green) who was the interim Green leader this year after Andrew Weaver resigned from that post, is running again in Saanich North and the Islands, against the NDP’s Zeb King and BC Liberal candidate Stephen Roberts.
A three-way leaders debate with Horgan, Wilkinson and Furstenau will be televised live on Tuesday October 13 evening on Global TV (6:30 to 8 pm).
NDP star candidates:
Former Mayor of Tofino Josie Osborne is the NDP candidate in Mid Island-Pacific Rim, running against four other candidates (Green, Liberal, Libertarian and Indepdendent).
Sheila Malcolmson is a star NDP candidate running again in Nanaimo where she won the byelection last year after resigning as a federal MP to focus on provincial politics and shore up NDP support in the mid-island region. BC Liberal and Green candidates — both women — will be on her tail there.
Former federal MP for Victoria, Murray Rankin, is the star NDP candidate in Oak Bay-Gordon Head where former Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is not running again for the Greens (as he will be returning to academic life at UVic). Rankin’s race is against Roxamine Helme (BC Liberal), Nicole Duncan (BC Green), and Florian Castle (Communist).
Having served as Public Safety Minister and Attorney General the last 3.5 years, Mike Farnworth is running again in Port Coquitlam, in a four-way race. He has overseen the continued State of Emergency in BC during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lisa Beare is running again for the NDP in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. She has worked hard in many areas of arts, culture and tourism as the minister for that portfolio in the Horgan government. Addressing the needs of the heavy-hit tourism industry during the pandemic was addressed under Beare’s portfolio.
Bob D’Eith is running again for the NDP in Maple Ridge-Mission. D’Eith chaired last year’s budget committee which toured the province for public input.
Selina Robinson who worked hard the past 3.5 years as minister of housing and municipal affairs (and TransLink for the lower mainland) through a gauntlet of issues is running to hold her seat in a three-way race in Coquitlam-Maillardville.
North Vancouver-Lonsdale sees the high-spirited, social-media-savvy Bowinn Ma running again for the NDP, against Liberal and Green in that mainland riding.
In Saanich South, Lana Popham is the forerunner for the NDP there. She has been an enthusiastic and productive agriculture minister 2017-2020. Popham is up against Kate O’Connor (Green) and Rishi Sharma (BC Liberal).
Michelle Stilwell is running again for the BC Liberals in Parksville-Qualicum, in a five-way race.
Ronna-Rae Leonard whose seat was key to tipping the NDP election results in 2017 is the NDP candidate in Courtenay-Comox in a three-way race.
Running in North Island are four candidates: Michele Babchuk (NDP), Norm Facey (BC Liberal), Alexandra Morton (BC Green), and John Twigg (Conservative).
Strong NDP contingent:
Running again from the previous NDP cabinet are Melanie Mark in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant after serving one term as minister of advanced education, David Eby in Vancouver Point-Grey who served as Attorney General, Spencer Chandra Herbert in Vancouver West-End who did some important work on the BC Rental Task Force, and Rob Fleming in Victoria-Swan Lake who has served as education minister in arguably the best-and-worst-of-times for public education in BC these past 3.5 years.
While no one can fill Carole James’ NDP shoes in BC politics (most recently as Finance Minister under John Horgan 2017-2020), Grace Lore is running in James’ long-held riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill. James is retiring for health reasons.