Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Vancouver skyline.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Two British Columbia by-elections to fill vacant Metro Vancouver seats are being fought against a much larger political backdrop than who wins or loses.

Premier Christy Clark's Liberals, the New Democrats and the Greens are knocking on doors and waving signs to court votes and field testing tactics and attitudes in advance of the provincial election 16 months away.

The by-elections Tuesday in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain won't change the balance of power in the legislature, currently at 48 Liberals, 33 New Democrats, two independents and two vacancies, but they start a countdown to the May, 2017, election.

Story continues below advertisement

A political analyst said Clark's Liberals have jumped on the idea of the sharing economy in an effort to deflect unfulfilled election promises of a liquefied natural gas bonanza.

University of Victoria public policy expert Michael Prince said John Horgan's New Democrats are determined not to repeat the disastrous results of two recent NDP campaigns – Thomas Mulcair's federal election slide and Adrian Dix's demoralizing defeat in the B.C. election.

The Green Party, with one elected member, is presenting itself as the alternative to B.C.'s traditionally polarized left-right political divide, he said.

"The 2017 election is on," said Mr. Prince.

"The Liberals are trying to figure out a way of having an economic development story line that isn't simply just gas, gas, gas," he said.

"The NDP, perhaps, will take a page from Justin Trudeau's game book and come out with a more robust platform with all sorts of promises, not one big one, like, 'we're going to bring in a poverty reduction plan.' " Mount Pleasant is a New Democrat stronghold and youth advocate Melanie Mark is expected to hold the seat for the party after long-time member Jenny Kwan's move to federal politics.

Ms. Mark is up against Liberal challenger Gavin Dew and Green candidate Pete Fry.

Story continues below advertisement

Burke Mountain in suburban Coquitlam has been in Liberal hands since 2009.

Community leader and businesswoman Joan Isaacs is running for the Liberals and Autism Support Network executive director Jodie Wickens is the NDP candidate. Green Party candidate Joe Keithley, well known as the driving force behind the punk band D.O.A., has also jumped into the by-election.

NDP Leader John Horgan said affordability is the big issue he's hearing on door steps. Food and housing costs are going up, but their pay cheques haven't increased.

"On top of that, is the sense the premier and her government is just not there for regular people. The slogan of families first is long forgotten and it seems corporations first is what people are echoing back to me."

He said residents can expect more NDP challenges of the premier and the Liberal record, including anti-government advertising blitzes, which started in recent weeks.

"The last time we let the government off the hook," Mr. Horgan said of the 2013 provincial election. "I don't have any intention of doing that."

Story continues below advertisement

The B.C. Liberal Party noted that since 1963, governing parties have only won four of 32 by-elections, but its candidates look to the future while the NDP sticks to old ideas and name calling.

"Today's B.C. Liberals are bringing forward new ideas to strengthen what is already the strongest provincial economy in Canada, and the NDP is taking voters for granted with a negative campaign that offers no new ideas on how to build a better province," said a statement from the party.

Mr. Prince said Liberal moves to examine the so-called sharing economy through informal polling are signals the government wants to move in a new direction and attract new voters ahead of the next election.

Ms. Issacs pledged during her campaign that she would work to build sharing technologies such as ride-share programs Lyft and Uber and lodging website Airbnb.

"The Liberals are looking for an economic development story that isn't just pinned on resource extraction," Mr. Prince said.

He said recruiting former finance minister Carole Taylor as a policy adviser and warming to sharing are shrewd political manoeuvres by a party looking to shore up its traditional base and find new, young voters ahead of an election.

Story continues below advertisement

"This social-sharing economy stuff is trying to figure out their new age politics," Mr. Prince said. "It's what is the new age and the new wave and how a dynasty government four terms in power wants to get a fifth term."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies