Posted by: Andrew Pask | April 13, 2011

Vancouver-Point Grey: Clark calls it, Eby steps to the plate

The dust hasn’t yet settled on the week’s Federal debates, and already we have a firm date on at least one new Provincial contest.

Earlier today, Premier-elect Christy Clark set the date of the by-election for the Vancouver-Point Grey electoral district.  Taking place on May 11, the ballot will seek to fill the riding recently vacated by Gordon Campbell.  Clark herself is running and is looking to score a seat so she can actually sit in the legislature.

This will be an interesting contest.  While the NDP candidate hasn’t been officially selected, there’s a very good chance it will be David Eby.  Earlier today Eby announced that he is taking a leave from his role as Executive Director at the BC Civil Liberties Association to  seek the nomination.  By chance I had a chance to chat with Eby briefly about the move earlier tonight.  He was energized: “this is an important opportunity – and an important time in the province… it’s a chance for me to make a difference on the issues I care about.”

David_Eby1David Eby

Look for Eby to advance a platform calling for stronger investments in (and action on) homelessness and poverty — issues that he has cut his teeth on over the past few years.  Add to that an interest in environment and urban issues and you have the making of a good campaign.  I’ll be interested to see how it develops over the next 28 days.

Christy ClarkChristy Clark

Clark for her part, is riding on the momentum she established during the Liberal leadership race.  She’s already framed up her own campaign around a ‘focus on family’ and has attempted to make her mark by reversing some of the policies of her predecessor – including lifting the freeze on the provinces minimum wage.  But she’ll have to do more than that to shake the legacy that Gordon Campbell left behind – including sagging party support, internal dissension within Liberal ranks, and a hugely unpopular and unresolved HST issue.

Watch this one closely folks.  Last time ’round community activist Mel Lehan came within a hairs breadth of upsetting Gordon Campbell.  Being premier (or premier-elect) is no slam dunk here.  And BC politics is fickle and has a history of quick turns.

There’s no such thing as a sure thing in our province contests.

For more information on the by-election see the Elections BC website.

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