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

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Rock slide closes Hwy. 1 south of Ashcroft until Friday afternoon

A rock slide Thursday afternoon near Spences Bridge closed the highway in both directions

‘Quite a few tears’ as quilts distributed to those affected by last summer’s fire

Local quilters leapt into action to provide quilts for Ashcroft Reserve and Boston Flats residents.

South Cariboo Kinsmen donate to local fire departments

Ashcroft and Cache Creek fire departments each receive $1,100 from Kinsmen annual Turkey Bingo.

NDIT ‘State of the North’ report highlights importance of small businesses

Median wages in Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet lower than elsewhere, but housing relatively affordable.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

A new development surrounding plane that went missing around Revelstoke in November

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

Most Read