NPA Coun. Elizabeth Ball is throwing her hat in the ring for the BC Liberal nomination in Vancouver-Fairview, the swing riding held by the NDP’s George Heyman.
Heyman, the ex-BCGEU boss, upset Liberal Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid in 2013.
Ball is facing Gabe Garfinkel, who was Premier Christy Clark’s aide until he quit in November 2013 to become a lobbyist for Chevron and Kinder Morgan.
Ball, a Fairview resident for 30 years, said she wants to bring her arts and culture advocacy to Victoria.
“I would fully expect the premier would win and the Liberals would win, otherwise I wouldn’t be running with them,” Ball said.
Ball won election to city council in 2005, under NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan, and again in 2011 and 2014 as part of the NPA minority. She has more than 20 months left in her term on city council. Before the 2014 election, the BC Liberals gave municipal politicians a gift by extending their terms to four years.
The next Vancouver civic election is Oct. 20, 2018, but Ball wouldn’t have to resign her seat on council. Provincial lawmakers are allowed to hold both offices in B.C., as long as they fulfil their duties. For the time being, Ball believes she can juggle both city council meetings and public hearings as well as campaigning for the nomination.
“It’s only two weeks until [February] 19th when the nomination meeting is, and following that two months until the election,” Ball said. “I will be able to complete my work for the city.”
Before, during and after the 2013 provincial election, double-duty became an issue in various municipalities. Municipal politicians can hold their seats until the calendar year of a local general election and resign without forcing a by-election.
Coquitlam city councillors Linda Reimer (BC Liberal) and Selina Robinson (NDP) quit after winning seats in the 2013 provincial election. City council voted to deny them leave until Jan. 1, 2014, so a by-election was held.
Surrey BC Liberal Marvin Hunt resigned from Surrey city council in February 2014, after donating his salary back to the city. Peter Fassbender was Langley City Mayor when he won the Surrey-Fleetwood seat for the BC Liberals in 2013. His former city council opted against replacing him for the remainder of the term. He took leave of absence until Jan. 1, 2014 and quit.
Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy kept taking his pay after winning the Liberal seat in West Vancouver-Sea-to-Sky. He finally resigned in January 2014. The double-dipper was taking his $24,000-a-year mayor’s salary, $101,859 MLA salary and $15,300 bonus as the undersecretary to the Transport Minister.
Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton, who was elected a Liberal MLA, spent $32,000 to pay for a by-election.