The provincial Boundary-Similkameen riding will have a new MLA come 2021 — and sooner if the current NDP government falls before then.
Linda Larson, the Liberal MLA who has represented the riding since 2013, told about 70 supporters at the riding association’s AGM Sunday that she will not run again in the next provincial election, scheduled for October 16, 2021.
“I wanted to announce early enough to give whoever follows me enough time to get to know the riding before the next election, be it in 2021 or sooner if the NDP-Green coalition collapses,” Ms. Larson said.
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“Four weeks after the writ has dropped just isn’t enough time to get to know the riding and for people to get to know you.”
She added waiting until late in the term to announce her intentions for 2021 would also make it difficult for the party should the current minority NDP government — which has 41 members seated and a “confidence and supply agreement” with the provincial Greens — tumble from power before the next scheduled election is called.
She noted her announcement is also a “heads-up” for local New Democrats, who will also have advance warning of her intentions and will likely get to work on naming their own candidate.
Ms. Larson made the announcement at her home with Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson by her side.
“I don’t think it was the best-kept seeking in the riding,” she laughed. “I’ve always said I didn’t want to make a career out of this and two terms is enough.”
She’ll finish out the term working for constituents, she committed.
Ms. Larson won the riding’s seat in 2013 with just over 46% of the vote, edging New Democrat Sam Hancheroff. In 2017, she won a second term with 42.8% of the vote.
Prior to being elected as an MLA, Linda sat on the Town of Oliver Council and served as mayor from 1997 to 2005.
Ms. Larson moved to Oliver in 1989 with her husband Larry. She owned three businesses in Oliver between 1989 and 2002: the Eastside Grocery, Stedmans V/S and Ruffled Edges and served on the BC Small Business Roundtable between 2005 and 2011.