B.C. Liberals start leadership race to replace Christy Clark next February - InfoNews

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B.C. Liberals start leadership race to replace Christy Clark next February

FILE PHOTO - Former Premier Christy Clark arrives to speak to the amendment of the throne speech in the legislative assembly before the confidence vote at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, June 29, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
August 29, 2017 - 6:30 PM

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's Liberal party has officially launched a race to select its next leader in early 2018.

Emile Scheffel, the party's executive director, says the new leader will be announced on Feb. 4 at a convention in Vancouver.

Online and phone voting is set to take place for three days prior to that date as the Liberal party looks to replace former premier Christy Clark, who quit earlier this month after the NDP formed a minority government.

Scheffel said Tuesday the biggest change in rules since a leadership race in 2011 involves not mailing pin numbers allowing online voting due to members not getting the information on time.

He said a yet-to-be-selected voting-system vendor would be required to come up with an alternative way to identify eligible members.

No one has announced their candidacy for the leadership yet.

Scheffel says leadership contestants will have a spending cap of $600,000, an increase from $450,000 in 2011 when personal expenses were not included, for a race that will be six weeks longer.

The Liberals were in power for 16 years before they were defeated in a confidence vote in the legislature two months ago.

Clark was premier for 6 1/2 years and replaced Gordon Campbell after he stepped down as party leader. She was elected to the B.C. legislature in 1996 but left politics in 2004 to spend time with her son.

Former attorney general Geoff Plant will serve as the party's chief returning officer for the leadership contest.

"The leadership 2018 rules are rooted in best practices from our previous leadership race and other contests across Canada, and informed by feedback from our grassroots members throughout the province," said party president Sharon White in a statement.

Anyone running for the leadership will be required to participate in party debates or forums in Vancouver, Surrey, Prince George, Nanaimo, and the Thompson-Okanagan region, and one organized by the BC Liberal Indigenous Network.

The deadline for candidates to enter the race is Dec. 29th.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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