By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
The B.C. Liberal Party has picked a date next month for its candidate-selection meeting in Kamloops-North Thompson, giving three men running less than three weeks to sign up members.
Liberals in North Kamloops and the North Thompson Valley will select their candidate on Saturday, Nov. 19, with voting times and locations to be announced. Deadline to join the party and be eligible to vote is Friday, Oct. 21, at 4:30 p.m.
The party’s nominee will not be chosen in time to attend the B.C. Liberal party’s convention, which will take place in Vancouver from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6.
Three people are seeking the nomination: North Shore Business Improvement Association executive director Steven Puhallo, Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar and Tobiano founder Mike Grenier.
The nomination race arose in early September when, as expected, current Kamloops-North Thompson MLA and Health Minister Terry Lake announced he would not be running in the May 9, 2017, election.
“We were hoping it [candidate vetting] could be done quickly and voting could be done quickly,” said Steven Puhallo, the first to announce his run for the nomination. “With three people running, it was against the laws of physics.”
Milobar, who also announced last month, said the date “makes a lot of sense.
“We weren’t going to make it before convention and the next weekend is Remembrance Day.”
The Kamloops-North Thompson nomination meeting will be one of the party’s last provincewide.
Mike Grenier, the last of the three to announce his candidacy, said he has encouraged the party to hold multiple voting opportunities in the North Thompson on the day of the nomination meeting to ensure fairness across the riding.
Voting will be by preferential ballot rather than two consecutive ballots if any one candidate doesn’t reach a majority after the first vote.
“In this day and age, people want to vote and go,” Milobar said.