Skip to main content

John Slater, who was elected to the British Columbia legislature as a Liberal but left four years later as an Independent after the party refused to endorse his re-election, has died.

Slater, a former mayor of Osoyoos, was elected in 2009 as a Liberal in the riding of Boundary-Similkameen.

He ended his career in provincial politics as an Independent after the Liberal party did not endorse his candidacy for the 2013 election. At the time, the party said personal issues were behind the decision not to support Slater's candidacy.

Slater acknowledged some personal problems, but he suggested in 2013 that he may have ruffled feathers with his candid opinions on Liberal issues.

Earlier, Slater said a combination of prescription medication, antihistamines and a glass of wine left him out of sorts in the legislature where he was seen swaying in the hallway.

On Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark paid tribute to Slater in a written statement, saying he dedicated 30 years of public service to his community.

"John lent his time to everything from coaching youth sports and volunteering with the chamber of commerce, to standing for public office — first as a councillor, then mayor, and finally as MLA," Clark said in the statement.

"But no matter what his official title was, John always thought of himself first and foremost as a farmer."

She said Slater laid the groundwork for modernizing the century-old legislation protecting B.C.'s fresh water and was proud of the new Water Sustainability Act.

Slater's hard work included a new high school in Oliver, B.C., and a new Horizon Health Centre in Osoyoos, Clark said.

Interact with The Globe