Former MLA announces bid to replace Clark in Kelowna-West

Ben Stewart, who stepped aside for Clark in 2013, wants his old job back.

Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart fought off tears as he announced his decision in 2013 to step aside in order to allow then-premier Christy Clark (right) to run in a byelection in what was then known as Westside-Kelowna. —Image credit: Capital News file

Ben Stewart wants his old job back.

The former two-term MLA for what was then known as Westside-Kelowna and is now known as Kelowna West announced Tuesday his intent to seek the B.C. Liberal nomination in the riding. A byelection must be held within the next six months after Clark announced late last week she is leaving politics.

She said she will quit as both Liberal leader and Kelowna-West MLA as of this Friday, Aug. 5.

“It was a genuine honour and love to work for the families and constituents of Westside-Kelowna,” said Stewart Tuesday. “And I look forward to the opportunity to serve again.”

Stewart, who easily won the riding for the B.C. Liberals in 2013, stepped down just weeks after the election to allow party leader, then-premier Christy Clark, to run as she had lost her Vancouver seat to her NDP challenger in the general election. Clark also easily won the subsequent byelection.

Clark then named Stewart, founder and co-owner of Quail’s Gate Winery in West Kelowna, as B.C.special representative in Asia.

During his tenure in government, Stewart served in four different cabinet positions, including as agriculture minister, citizen services and open government minister, citizen services, public affairs bureau and multiculturalism minister and, minister of community and rural economic development.

After leaving politics, Stewart accepted an appointment as British Columbia’s Special Representative in Asia, and served with the Ministry of International Trade and Investment from October 2013 to December 2016.

“It is critical that we continue to address trade barriers and remain competitive both at home and abroad,” said Stewart.

“At a time of instability with softwood lumber, NAFTA, and other trade uncertainties, Kelowna West requires experienced and qualified leadership.”

Added Stewart, “I am running to ensure that the place where I grew up, the place that I call home, has a strong voice moving forward.”

Just Posted

Older communities in Greater Victoria record higher turnout

Oak Bay and Sidney rank first and second in voter turnout

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

See your great fog images from across Greater Victoria

It was a foggy day today and your cameras captured some beautiful images

Victoria Police looking for kids dressed as officers for Halloween contest

The contest is part of their #BeSeenHalloween initiative to encourage highly visible costumes

Business is booming as Black Press gears up for Victoria career fair

One stop shop for questions about entering the workforce, finding work experience

UPDATE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Nine people were seeking the mayor’s seat for the City of Victoria and 29 candidates hoped to be chosen for council

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Okanagan parachute accidents kills American

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Mother passes school trustee torch to daughter in Port Alberni

Jane Jones loses after one term, but proud of her daughter Connie Watts

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read