Monday, September 12, 2016

Premier Clark introduces Haisla Chief Councillor Ellis Ross as Liberal candidate for Skeena

The British Columbia Liberals have named Haisla Chief Councillor
Ellis Ross as their candidate in the 2017 provincial election

The BC Liberals clearly believe that the riding of Skeena is up for grabs as next years election cycle beckons, as Premier Christy Clark arrived in Terrace on Monday taking part of the introduction of Haisla Chief Councillor Ellis Ross as the candidate to carry the Liberal flag into the 2017 Provincial election.

The race in Skeena will one to watch on election night, particularly with the NDP's Robin Austin having announced earlier this year that he will be stepping out of the political spotlight when British Columbians go to the polls in May of next year.

The Liberal's announcement which took place at the Longhouse at the Terrace campus of Northwest Community College was streamed live through the Social Media video sharing site Periscope, with Premier Clark outlining the strong leadership that she believes Mr. Ross will bring to the riding.

With today's announcement that Mr. Ross will seek a seat in the Legislature, the Liberal's clearly have pegged Skeena as one that will get their full attention heading towards the Spring election campaign.

Mr. Ross who has been a strong proponent of development for the Haisla Nation and the Kitimat area makes for a serious political catch for the Premier, as she looks to gain another four year term for her Liberal party.

Some of his platform for the campaign ahead was outlined as part of the BC Liberal's information release following today's announcement.

"Northwest BC is full of economic potential, but the NDP oppose every proposal. People in this region deserve more than that – they want an MLA who will fight for opportunities that result in good jobs so that our next generation can stay in our communities, or come back home,” -- BC Liberal Candidate Ellis Ross on where some of his focus will be in the upcoming BC election campaign.

The choice of the high profile First Nations leader will make the Skeena riding one which will be one of key focus for political commentators and pundits, both during the upcoming campaign and on election night.

There is some positive math for the Liberals to consider when it comes for Skeena, a riding which provided for one of the closest races in the 2013 Provincial election, as the NDP's Mr. Austin held off Challenger Carol Leclerc by only 522 votes.

The race for the NDP Nomination in the riding for the NDP remains at the moment a three person race, with Sarah Zimmerman, Nicole Halbauer and Bruce Bidgood all indicating their intention to contest the process in Skeena.

No date has been set yet for the NDP nominating meeting to select their candidate.

The Liberals have been rolling out their list of candidates over the last few weeks, though to this point there has been no candidate announced to represent the Liberal party in the North Coast riding.

Current NDP MLA Jennifer Rice has already indicated her intention to seek re-election in next years campaign, though the formality of a nomination meeting has yet to be scheduled.

The Premier's trip to Terrace stoked a fair bit of interest around the Northwest media, some accounts of her stopover can be found below, updates on the events will be provided as they become available:

September 12 -- No stranger to pipeline politics, Ross to run for Liberals in Skeena
September 12 -- Premier Clark announces Haisla Chief Councillor Ellis ross as Skeena Liberal Candidate (audio)
September 12 -- Haisla chief councillor to run as BC Liberal in northwestern B.C.
September 12 -- Christy Clark has Busy Day planned for Northwest
September 12 -- Clark announces Ellis Ross as Liberal candidate for Skeena (video)

More background on the Northwest political scene can be found on our Legislature archive page.

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