Kelowna West byelections aren’t cheap

Ever wonder how much a byelection costs?

Christy Clark’s decision to step down from being the MLA for the Kelowna-West riding won’t be without a cost to taxpayers.

In 2013, when then MLA Ben Stewart stepped aside so Clark could run in what was then the Westside-Kelowna riding after losing her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey to the NDP’s David Eby, the by-election cost Elections BC $482,228 to administer.

That amounts to roughly $10.48 per registered voter, according to a report by the chief electoral officer. More recent by-elections have been even more pricey.

In February 2016, the total cost of administering the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant by-election was $574,082, or $14.15 per registered voter and total cost of administering the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain by-election was $549,632, or $14.32 per registered voter.

It’s unclear when a by-election will be called by Premier John Horgan, but he has to call for one in the next six months.

Thus far, one familiar name has thrown their hat back into the ring.

“It is critical that we continue to address trade barriers and remain competitive both at home and abroad,” Stewart said in a news release.

“At a time of instability with softwood lumber, NAFTA, and other trade uncertainties, Kelowna West requires experienced and qualified leadership.”