Municipal byelections set throughout B.C. in the next month
Caused by local politicians being elected as MLAs; biggest election is for mayor of Kamloops
British Columbians head back to the polls this fall.
Well, some of them.
Byelections are happening in several large municipalities this fall, as voters replace local and regional officials who became MLAs in the 2017 provincial election.
Seven MLAs were local politicians when they were elected: NDP candidates Lisa Beare and Rick Glumac, Liberal candidates Peter Milobar, Tom Shypitka, Dan Davies and Ian Paton, and Green candidate Sonia Furstenau.
Here's what their departures mean.
5 stepped down, 2 staying on until 2018
Kamloops: After being elected MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, Milobar resigned as the city's mayor, prompting a byelection taking place on Sept. 30. Six people are running for mayor of Kamloops and a whopping 21 people are running for the two open seats on council.
Former mayor Mel Rothenburger says it's been a quiet race so far, which should favour councillor Ken Christian, the mayoral candidate with the highest name recognition.
"[But] if there's any kind of a backlash against the current council, or a feeling that his time is up, then it might reflect Ken's share of the vote," said Rothenburger.
Port Moody: Councillor Rick Glumac resigned after being elected in Port Moody-Coquitlam, sparking a byelection that will take place Sept. 30. Eight people, including former three-term councillor Karen Rockwell, are seeking election.
Cranbrook: The largest municipality in the Kootenays heads to the polls on Oct. 21, as voters replace councillor Tom Shypitka, who resigned after being elected MLA for Kootenay East.
Shawnigan Lake: Cowichan Valley regional director Sonia Furstenau was elected as a Green MLA, requiring a byelection for Electoral Area B. Three people are running to replace her, with general voting day set for Sept. 30.
Fort St. John: Dan Davies resigned as a councillor after being elected in Peace River North. A byelection to replace him takes place Sept. 9, with seven candidates looking to replace him.
Maple Ridge: Lisa Beare was a school board trustee for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows prior to being elected provincially. Rather than step down, she's taking an unpaid leave of absence until the end of 2017.
School board chair Mike Murray told the Maple Ridge News the decision would save the school board money, since a resignation in 2018 won't trigger a byelection because the general election is also that year.
Delta: Councillor Ian Paton was elected for Delta South, but he isn't resigning or taking a leave of absence.
"At the request of the mayor and CAO, Mr. Paton will continue as a councillor until January so as to avoid triggering a byelection," said a B.C. Liberal spokesperson last month.
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said it would save the municipality $250,000, and that he would attend council meetings this fall by phone.