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Upcoming by-elections are critically important for voters, says Eby

Premier Eby on by-election timing: "expects to be making an announcement shortly"

Wednesday May 24, 2023 | VANCOUVER, BC [Updated May 27, 2023]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


The upcoming by-elections in two BC ridings are “critically important to voters”, said BC Premier David Eby today in Vancouver.

He was responding to media questions at a scrum following the announcement of provincial and federal funding support for the AbCellera biotech company.

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Premier David Eby: “People are the economy.” [File: May 2, 2023 in Vancouver]

As for the by-election date(s) for Langford-Juan de Fuca and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Premier Eby says he “expects to be making an announcement shortly on that”, even though he technically has until September 30 to call the Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election and up to October 14, 2023 to call the by-election in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant.

It sounds from the Premier’s remark today that the two by-elections may well be run during the same time period.

Getting two vacant MLA seats filled ahead of the October 3 start of the BC Legislative Assembly fall session makes political sense; both seats were vacated by NDP MLAs, and naturally Eby would hope to see those seats replaced with new NDP MLAs, though the NDP government has a solid majority at this time with 55 seats of 87.

The by-election campaign period(s) will each be 29 days (including election day), according to Elections BC.

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Premier David Eby meeting folks in Langford May 25, 2023 along with Langford-Juan de Fuca BC NDP candidate Ravi Parmar. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Why so important?:

Eby says these upcoming by-elections are “critically important for voters” because the two communities are “really exciting and different”.

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Langford-Juan de Fuca:

The Premier described Langford-Juan de Fuca as “a really good example of a fast-growing community”…”. He said there is “dramatic population growth as a result of people choosing to move to British Columbia from other countries around the world, from other provinces across Canada.”

Eby described the Langford-Juan de Fuca area as “a demonstration of the vibrancy and the excitement around British Columbia right now.”

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Three Langford-Juan de Fuca candidates at the Luxton Spring Fair on May 20, 2023 (from left): Camille Currie (BC Greens), Elena Lawson (BC United), and Ravi Parmar (BC-NDP). [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

“They’re really an up-and-coming community that is growing very quickly. To make sure that the voices of those families of those people in Langford are represented — obviously very well represented by Premier Horgan — but now by a new voice in the legislature is going to be very important,”. said Premier Eby.

Up until March 31, 2023, former MLA John Horgan had held that riding on the west shore of south Vancouver Island for 18 years.

Currently there are four party candidates vying for the coveted MLA seat in the west shore: Camille Currie (BC Green), Mike Harris (BC Conservative), Elena Lawson (BC United), and Ravi Parmar (BC NDP).

The Langford-Juan de Fuca by-election must be called by September 30, 2023.

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Vancouver-Mount Pleasant:

Today Premier Eby described Vancouver-Mount Pleasant as a critical by-election for the Vancouver Downtown Eastside.

“I made a commitment, as Premier, that we are going to go head on at the issue of the DES, making it “a better, safer community for everybody”. He recognizes it will remain a “predominantly low-income community, but recognizing as well that we’ve got a long way to go to make sure that it’s safe and welcoming for everybody”.

“So we’re going to take on that important work making sure that there’s a representative for all of Mount Pleasant — which includes areas like Commercial Drive, and Strathcona, Chinatown, as well as the Downtown East Side. A strong voice at the table is vital for that neighbourhood as well,” said Eby.

The Vancouver-Mount Pleasant riding has been an NDP stronghold for eight of nine elections. Up until April 14, 2023, former MLA Melanie Mark had held that riding for seven years (elected in 2016, 2017, 2020) in the challenging downtown Vancouver east area.

Currently the candidates in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant include Jackie Lee (BC united), Karin Litzcke (BC Conservative), and Joan Phillip (BC NDP). The BC Greens have a nomination vote coming up online May 25 and 26, with two potential candidates: Leona Brown and Wendy Hayko.

The Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by-election must be called by October 14, 2023.

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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, 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]. Ms Brooke has actively covered the details of local, provincial and federal elections since 2008. As of 2023, Mary P Brooke reports with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.

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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.

Watch for the renewed print edition of Island Social Trends (formerly West Shore Voice News) in summer 2023. Advertisers welcome – inquiries. | How to be a Premium Subscriber