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); } //

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is photographed during her year end interviews in her office at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on Dec. 9.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press

Premier Christy Clark has called by-elections in two Lower Mainland ridings, with voters in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain scheduled to go to the polls 15 months before B.C.'s next general election.

The by-elections on Feb. 2 could provide a glimpse of what's in store for Ms. Clark's Liberal government next year in her second election as Premier.

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, a New Democratic Party stronghold, had been held by Jenny Kwan since 1996. Ms. Kwan is now serving as a federal MP after winning a seat for the NDP in last fall's federal election.

Story continues below advertisement

Coquitlam-Burke Mountain had been represented by B.C. Liberal Doug Horne since 2009. Mr. Horne ran for the federal Conservatives last fall but lost. The B.C. Liberal Party is not affiliated with the federal Liberals.

Hamish Telford, an associate professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, said by-elections can serve as a referendum on the government of the day.

"People can vote without any risk of consequences. Even if the Liberals lose both of these, they're still going to be the government," he said in an interview.

However, Prof. Telford said he expects the NDP and the Liberals to reclaim the ridings they previously held.

"By-elections can also be very local affairs and really take on the issues of the particular ridings at play. I think we're likely to see a bit of those things, but I'm guessing probably more local than provincial," he said.

Prof. Telford said issues such as transit, housing and resource projects could influence voters.

In Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, Melanie Mark was named as the NDP candidate in June, giving her several months to meet with constituents. The Liberals nominated Gavin Dew last month.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Mark worked for eight years at B.C.'s Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. She is Nisga'a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibwa, and she served as president of the Urban Native Youth Association from 2000-06.

"I've been tackling tough issues my whole life and I've been able to deliver," Ms. Mark, who was born and raised in the riding but now lives outside it, said in an interview. "That's what people are looking for: Someone who's experienced and can advocate on tough issues."

Mr. Dew said he knows it will be difficult to win what has for decades been an NDP riding.

"There's no question this is going to be an uphill battle. I know that I'm the underdog in this fight," he said in an interview.

However, Mr. Dew said it's time voters in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant had a representative who's actually a member of the governing party.

Mr. Dew said he plans to talk to residents about issues such as supporting the technology and craft-brewing sectors, the new St. Paul's Hospital and transit. He, like Ms. Mark, lives just outside the riding. Mr. Dew's background is as a small-business owner, running a consulting firm.

Story continues below advertisement

The Green Party will be represented in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by Pete Fry. In a statement, Mr. Fry said he expects by-election issues to include unaffordability, economic development and Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

In Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, the Liberals will be represented by Joan Isaacs, while Jodie Wickens is running for the NDP. Joe Keithley is the candidate for the Greens.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
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