Former Global TV news anchor Steve Darling has been named the B.C. Liberal candidate in Burnaby-Lougheed, marking the second time this month that a well-known provincial personality with roots in the media has agreed to join the party's bid to win re-election.
On Sunday, Premier Christy Clark announced Mr. Darling as the candidate in the riding that was closely contested during the past election in May, 2013.
Mr. Darling recalled honing his craft in front of the cameras at Global TV's studios in Burnaby. "For the past 18 years, I have gone to work in Burnaby telling stories that matter. Now, I'm looking forward to fighting for the priorities that matter such as good jobs, a strong economy and world-class services for young families like my own," he said in a statement.
The former co-host of Global BC's morning news left the station in October. He later said his job had been eliminated.
School trustee Katrina Chen is the New Democratic Party's candidate in Burnaby-Lougheed. "Just finished door-knocking near Lougheed Mall," she tweeted Sunday, claiming that she has strong support from local residents who are angry with the Premier.
Jane Shin, who won the seat for the NDP in 2013, decided not to run in the B.C. general election that will be held on May 9, 2017. Ms. Shin captured the riding by fewer than 750 votes, defeating Liberal candidate Ken Kramer.
The B.C. Liberals' original Burnaby-Lougheed candidate for next year's election, Randy Rinaldo, bowed out six months ago after apologizing for his "insensitive" posts on Twitter, including one from 2012 that referred to child poverty as a "cultural problem."
Earlier this month, the Liberals acclaimed former Global TV reporter Jas Johal as their candidate in the newly created Richmond-Queensborough riding. Mr. Johal left Global TV in 2014 to become communications director for the B.C. LNG Alliance, which represents seven groups seeking to export liquefied natural gas from British Columbia. He stepped down from his position at the alliance in September.
Ms. Clark campaigned hard in touting LNG's prospects during the 2013 election. Her Liberal government continues to boast that the LNG sector could transform the provincial economy, though Woodfibre LNG is the only project out of 20 proposals to have made a final investment decision to forge ahead in British Columbia.
Mr. Johal and Mr. Darling will be facing voters in each riding who are concerned about high housing prices in the suburbs. The two high-profile recruits are part of a team of more than 60 Liberal candidates announced to date for next year's election.
The Premier described both men as trustworthy candidates who are willing to step up and make a difference in the B.C. Legislature. "It's qualified candidates like Jas who will work hard to keep growing Canada's leading economy," she wrote recently.
On Sunday, she extended similar praise to Mr. Darling: "We have a plan to put British Columbians first that's working – and it's qualified candidates like Steve who believe in this plan, and who will work hard to make sure that we can continue to look after the people we love."