Tuesday May 16, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Langford-Juan de Fuca presently does not have an elected representative in the BC Legislative Assembly.
Former Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan retired March 31, 2023 after serving the west shore riding for 18 years (first elected in 2005, serving in the Official Opposition until the NDP formed government under his leadership in mid-2017).
The provincial by-election for Langford-Juan de Fuca is pending. A by-election must be called within six months of Elections BC receiving notice of a vacancy in the Legislature. For Langford-Juan de Fuca that means the by-election must be called by September 30, 2023.
Pairing with a Lower Mainland by-election:
A by-election is also pending for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district. The Vancouver-Mount Pleasant seat became vacant when MLA Melanie Mark resigned on April 14, 2023. The Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by-election must be called by October 14, 2023.
Voter attention to by-elections is usually low to moderate (compared to higher-profile province-wide elections) at the best of times, let alone in summer.
Politically and economically it makes sense to have both by-elections run in the same cycle, especially for a sitting government to rally its party message during the campaigns and to have two new MLAs arrive at the BC Legislature at the same time.
The government does not want to be short two MLAs when it comes to important legislative votes this fall, though with 55 NDP seats they hold a reliable majority.
Summer or early fall by-election:
That leans toward Premier David Eby calling both by-elections for the same period, and that likely being during these upcoming summer months even though it’s tough to get voter attention for most by-elections in summertime when people’s attention turns to family, vacations, gardening and outdoor leisure (including that of party volunteers).
However, in some political circles the thinking might be that a diminished level of voter attention could be a plus, in that only the politically-attentive will be eager to turn up to the voting stations and thereby potentially minimize any sway by additional voter participation.
According to Elections BC, the campaign period for the by-elections will be 29 days, including Election Day.
Fall Session starts October 3:
The BC Legislative Assembly is presently on summer break, scheduled to return October 3 for the fall session.
One or both by-elections happening later in August could still deliver MLAs to the legislative chamber by the start of the fall session and glean more attention from voters as they return from summer vacation and think about back-to-school/back-to-work.
An election date after Labour Day in early September could captivate more voters who will be back in the groove of regular routines.
Passing the BC NDP torch in Langford-Juan de Fuca (May 14, 2023)
Three provincial electoral areas for west shore (April 18, 2023)
BC Greens launch their Langford-Juan de Fuca candidate (April 6, 2023)
John Horgan wraps up 18 years in BC elected politics (February 9, 2023)
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is professional regional journalism at islandsocialtrends.ca. Fully online as a daily news portal since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the path of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to reporting and analyzing the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC and national news impacts. [See Island Social Trends Politics Archive]. She has covered the details of local, provincial and federal elections since 2008. As of 2023 Mary P Brooke reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.
Mary P Brooke has also focused on news of School District 62 (Langford, Colwood and Sooke) at the board level since 2014 [see Island Social Trends Education archive] and has covered West Shore Parks & Recreation over the years (particularly the transitional years of 2014-2020). During 2020 and 2021 she reported daily on BC’s COVID pandemic news to build the ongoing COVID pandemic archive. Since 2021 she has been building a Food Security news archive.