At least one prospective Stikine candidate was none too pleased with the nominations process for the provincial election.
Darcy Repen, who is seeking to represent the Rural BC Party he co-founded with District of Houston councillor Jonathan Van Barneveld, said he was trying to get essential information on election financing over the weekend. When he called Elections BC, he was directed by an agent to the website where he found the Guide for Candidates had not been published yet.
“This guide is being updated and will be published as soon as possible,” the website stated.
“It’s a week before the registration deadline, folks,” he posted on his campaign Facebook page. “Seems like alternatives to the NDP are being frozen out intentionally.”
The NDP dismissed that allegation, saying Elections BC is an independent entity and has nothing to do with them.
“In a minority parliament, there was a possibility of an election at any time,” said Tim Renneberg, a media relations officer with the BC NDP. “As you are aware, Elections BC has been prepared for elections for some time. Any questions about the process should be directed to Elections BC.”
Elections BC confirmed it did not publish the guide until Sept. 28.
“The guide was inaccurate at the election call because many of our processes have had to change because of COVID-19 to ensure a safe election during the pandemic,” said Melanie Hull, an Elections BC communications advisor. “We updated the guide as soon as possible after the election call.”
She said, she was sorry to hear Repen was having difficulty with the process noting they are much busier this year than in the past.
“Given the snap election call and pandemic, we are fielding a larger number of calls and emails than usual,” she said adding they are doing their best to make sure none of the prospective candidates fall through the cracks through their 1-800 number, email and local district electoral offices.
Repen eventually did get satisfaction through the local district electoral office in Smithers.
On Sept. 30, he posted he had gone through the application package page by page with the local district electoral officer and everything was in order.
Neverthless, he remains critical of the NDP for
When the NDP decided to call an early election on September 21, they could have announced that they would officially call the election in one month,” he said. “This would have given other contestants fair notice, and Elections BC time to prepare. It would have been the right thing to do. People are rightly cynical about this election — it will further damage our already fragile democracy.”
Elections BC will post the official candidates list following the closure of the nomination period on Oct. 2.