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B.C. by-election coming soon for Falcon’s bid to return, Horgan says

Vancouver seat vacated by former leader Andrew Wilkinson
Kevin Falcon takes a spin in an early electric car at the B.C. Ferries Swartz Bay terminal in 2010, when he was transportation minister. After a decade away from politics, he returned as B.C. Liberal party leader in February. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon will have his chance to take a seat in the B.C. legislature before it rises for the summer break in early June, Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

Former B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson resigned his Vancouver-Quilchena seat shortly after Falcon won the leadership of the party in early February. Legislation requires by-elections to be called within six months of a seat becoming vacant, and Horgan said he won’t be waiting that long to have representation in the west-side Vancouver constituency, one of the wealthiest and safest B.C. Liberal seats in the province.

“We are working to ensure that we can get that by-election call as quickly as possible,” Horgan told reporters at the legislature March 3. “I know that in the past governments have held off on calling by-elections in non-incumbent constituencies. I remember the former government waiting five-and-a-half months to fill a vacancy in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, one of the poorest postal codes in North America. That’s not anything that I plan to do, although Quilchena doesn’t fall into that category. I believe that people deserve representation in the legislature, and we’re going to call that by-election certainly before the house rises. The seat will be filled before the house rises for the summer.”

Falcon left politics before the 2013 B.C. election, after placing second in a leadership contest to former premier Christy Clark in 2011 and serving as finance minister after the B.C. Liberal attempt to join the federal harmonized sales tax. He previously served as transportation minister and represented the constituency of Surrey-Cloverdale from 2001 to 2013.

Falcon has said he intends a “root and branch” overhaul of the party, including a name change, after the party lost other strongholds in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Okanagan in the snap election called by Horgan in October 2020.

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