B.C. NDP call for snap election in the midst of pandemic

Premier Horgan hoping to capitalize on popularity as campaigning begins

B.C. Premier John Horgan announced Sept. 21 that a snap provincial election will take place on Oct. 24, 2020. The New Democratic Party (NDP) leader believed that the province would be better off having an election to ensure support for his minority government as COVID-19 continues for the coming years as the pandemic progresses.

“We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the 12 months … or we can do what I believe is always the right thing and ask British Columbians what they think,” Horgan said in a press conference.

Horgan described the decision to call for an election a difficult one but said he did not want any uncertainty in British Columbians’ minds as the pandemic drags onwards.

Analysts also suggest Horgan wants to capitalize on the popularity he is currently experiencing. A recent poll done by Insights West showed that 68 per cent of respondents approved of the work Horgan and his government is doing, up 17 points from the last poll. Support for the B.C. NDP has risen to 47 per cent, an increase of 12 points.

Both Kamloops Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) will be running as incumbents for the B.C. Liberal Party. Todd Stone (Kamloops-South Thompson) and Peter Milobar (Kamloops-North Thompson) announced on twitter that they would be running a joint campaign for Kamloops and the Thompson valleys.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses a certain problem for voters. Elections BC and Dr. Bonnie Henry have been working together to ensure that those voting in public polling stations will not have to choose between their health and their right to vote.

An additional advanced voting day was created, implementing a seven day voting period before election day. Elections BC is also providing mail-in-ballots to those looking to vote from the safety of their home. A mail-in-ballot can be obtained from Elections BC online, or by calling voter services at 1-800-661-8683.