MLA Slater loses bid for re-election nomination

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
January 15th, 2013

Effective today, MLA John Slater sits in provincial legislature as an independent after the BC Liberals turned down his bid to run in the upcoming 2013 election for the Boundary-Similkameen.

Slater said that he initiated his candidacy paperwork four months ago but had not received confirmation from the party to indicate acceptance.

“They have chosen not to support me. I guess they’re going to parachute somebody in who can win the riding,” said Slater.

“I thought I had a pretty good chance, I’ve worked hard in the area, I think we’ve done some good things. Right now I will sit as an independent; this is very fresh for me. I may or may not run as an independent in the spring.”

Slater felt he should have been notified earlier and that he had been left hanging with uncertainty. In reviewing the reasons why he was not accepted, Slater suggested that perhaps the fact that he can be vocal in expressing his thoughts during party discussions might have been a part of the decision to look at another candidate.

 “John Slater has made significant contributions to his community in both private and public life. Mr. Slater’s candidacy is not being approved due to personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability to represent the Party. The Party sought a cooperative solution through discussions with John. This is not a decision taken lightly and is fully considered,” commented BC Liberal president Sharon White in a news release today.

Slater said these discussions did not take place and he had to force a decision from the party’s executive by setting an ultimatum deadline of today. He got the news in the early afternoon.

“I’ve worked hard for the last three and a half years for my riding and my constituents and I’m a little disappointed that they have this attitude,” said Slater. “There are 17 – 18 MLAs that are stepping down. That’s a big shift. I don’t think it’s going to help the party – there are cabinet ministers and long term MLAs leaving who have experience of 12 – 14 years.”

Slater said his family won’t be disappointed, however, and that he can now refocus on his family and his farming business.

The former Mayor of Oliver and current councillor, Linda Larson, has been approached by party officials to run for the seat. Since Slater’s withdrawal from the party, the area Liberal riding president has also since resigned, stating in her Twitter feed that she is “disappointed in the way this party has misled us.”

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