Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clark Says She Wants to Earn Every Vote in Wednesday's Kelowna Byelection

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clark Says She Wants to Earn Every Vote in Wednesday's Kelowna Byelection

Article excerpt

Clark not taking byelection as sure win

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WEST KELOWNA, B.C. - British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's Liberals are using the New Democratic Party's campaign collapse in the May election as a motivating factor in the Westside-Kelowna byelection where Clark is clearly the front runner, but no one in the Liberal camp will admit the lead.

Clark rallied her campaign workers Tuesday in West Kelowna, telling them to make every vote count and keep working right up until the final votes are tallied on Wednesday.

Outside her headquarters, Kelowna residents joined with former Liberal MLAs and party insiders from across the province to canvass neighbourhoods, make phone calls and plant signs.

Clark said she considers this byelection as important at the May 14 provincial election during which she led the Liberals to their fourth consecutive mandate.

"I have to work hard just like I did in the general election to meet as many people as I can, to talk to them about what they want for this community," she said while visiting a Kelowna company that has made international breakthroughs in online activities for young people.

"If I'm elected, four years from now, I want people to look at me and say she did what she said she was going to do," said Clark. "I want to learn about all the issues in this community, so I can represent it well."

Just before the May election, Adrian Dix's New Democrats were rehearsing victory speeches and party campaign workers were counting potential seats on election night as polls had the NDP heading for victory. But when the votes were counted, Clark's Liberals had an even larger majority than in 2009.

Dejected New Democrats could only point to the one small victory of David Eby's defeat of Clark in her Vancouver-Point Grey riding.

Shortly after the election, former Liberal cabinet minister Ben Stewart, who easily won Westside-Kelowna with 58 per cent of the vote, stepped down to allow Clark to run in what is considered safe Liberal territory.

Former Liberal cabinet minister John Les said he drove to Kelowna from Chilliwack to work on Clark's campaign.

Les, a former solicitor general, retired before the last election, but worked on Liberal campaigns in the Fraser Valley in May. …

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