Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin has announced he wants to run again as his party’s candidate in the next provincial election.
Austin was first elected in 2005 when he defeated sitting Liberal MLA Roger Harris and re-elected in 2009 when he defeated Donny van Dyk.
Technically the next provincial election is not supposed to happen until 2013 but new Liberal Premier Christy Clark has indicated she might go to the polls sooner in an attempt to secure her own mandate to govern.
Clark replaced Gordon Campbell who resigned following a backlash tied to introducing the Harmonized Sales Tax.
“We may not have an election date, but we are expecting it to called early,” said Austin last week.
Speculation is that Clark may call an election for late September or early October, after summer holidays are over but before local government elections take place in November.
“We’ll have to get everything in place in the very near future,” said Austin.
He did note a lot of Clark’s election strategy hinges on the results of the HST referendum which will not be known until August.
“If it doesn’t pass, I really don’t know what she might do,” he said.
Austin is currently his party’s education critic and one of three NDP MLAs from the northwest.
There’s no firm indication yet of when local provincial Liberals may crank up their own election machinery.
But Clark has appointed a provincial election readiness team, her party’s first step in preparing for a vote.