BC Liberals set dates for leadership vote

BC Liberals set dates for leadership vote

Christy Clark resigned as party leader on Aug. 4.

The BC Liberals will select a new leader in February of next year.

The vote for the new leader will have many of the same rules from the 2011 leadership process that chose former premier Christy Clark. Every member of the party gets a vote and equal weight will be given to every riding in the province. A preferential ballot will let members rank their choices for leader.

Voting will take place online from Feb. 2-4. There will also be a telephone option.

According to the rules announced by the Liberal Party on Tuesday, candidates will be limited to spending to no more than $600,000 for their campaigns. That’s an increase of $150,000 compared to the 2011 leadership race. To enter the race, contestants will have to pay $50,000 in fees.

“This compares to $450,000 in the 2011 leadership, while eliminating the previous exception for personal expenses,” the party said in a statement.

“The higher cap also reflects inflation, population growth, and a race that is approximately six weeks longer than in 2011.”

Leadership contestants will have to participate in debates or forums in Vancouver, Surrey, Prince George, Nanaimo and the Thompson-Okanagan region, and one organized by the BC Liberal Indigenous Network.

The party executive also announced Tuesday that former attorney general Geoff Plant will serve as Chief Returning Officer, overseeing voting arrangements and compliance with the rules.

Clark resigned as party leader on Aug. 4 and also resigned her seat in the Kelowna West riding.  Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman was selected as interim leader. Neil Thomson, who is a business consultant from Kamloops, is the only candidate to actually declare so far.

The new leader will be announced on Feb. 4 at a convention in Vancouver.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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