The race to replace Liberal MLA Joan McIntyre is now on. Mayor Jordan Sturdy of Pemberton has started campaigning for the job and announced his intention through a news release issued Tuesday.
McIntyre announced in September she wouldn't be seeking re-election.
Sturdy, the only person so far to declare his candidacy, said on Wednesday that the timing works well with his eldest daughter Emma at university while his second daughter, Thea, is in Grade 12 with an eye on attending the University of Victoria next year.
"Trish and the kids have all been very supportive right from the beginning," said Sturdy. "This was a family decision to run for mayor as well."
"I've really enjoyed my time as mayor and enjoyed the opportunity help people and really understand what's important to people," Sturdy said. "West Van – Sea to Sky is really my back yard and I really believe this is an amazing riding. It's got diversity that is almost unparalleled in the province."
If he is ultimately elected he said he would seek feedback from the community on whether he should continue to act as the mayor of Pemberton or resign from the position.
"The legislation allows you to hold both positions, in fact, Mayor Nebbeling did for some period of time," said the current Pemberton mayor.
"We've got a long way to go before we have to make that decision," he added.
First, Sturdy has to get through the Liberal Party nomination process.
Many Liberal riding associations have already chosen their candidates for the next election. A meeting date will soon be set for the selection of the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky candidate.
"I deeply believe that social well-being is best supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment," Sturdy said through the news release announcing his intention. "My values and ethics are best represented by the coalition which makes up the B.C. Liberals. We need to maintain a growing economy and be fiscally and environmentally responsible so that we can continue to fund essential services such as health care and education to the high level that British Columbians expect."
Sturdy has been the mayor of Pemberton since 2005. He has lived in the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding since 1984 and currently owns and operates an organic farm with his wife in Pemberton. In addition to farming the land the Sturdies offer agri-tourism opportunities to Pemberton visitors.
"As a mayor and regional district director I have been fully immersed in provincial, regional, First Nations and local issues and have a clear understanding of community priorities and concerns," said Sturdy.
The other two most active parties in the riding haven't declared candidates.
Lyle Fenton, the president of the NDP constituency association, said a search is ongoing for a candidate to represent the B.C. NDP. "We are in the candidate search and selection process and have one possibility at present," said Fenton.
Rebecca Helps of the Green Party said her group is also in the midst of finding a candidate and rebuilding its constituency association.
Liberal Party members from across the province will gather in Whistler this weekend for the party's traditional biannual convention.
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