NANAIMO, B.C.— A New Democrat member of the British Columbia legislature is running for the mayor’s job in Nanaimo, potentially upsetting the delicate balance of power for the provincial government.
If Leonard Krog is elected in October, the NDP and Green alliance reduces to 43 seats, while the B.C. Liberals have 42. Speaker Darryl Plecas sits as an Independent, after being booted from the Liberal caucus last year.
The departure of an NDP member of the legislature could have significant implications for the New Democrats which, with help from three members of the Green party, hold on a razor-thin majority in the legislature.
The Nanaimo riding has traditionally been a New Democrat stronghold, going to the NDP in 12 of the last 14 elections. But if the Liberals were to win a byelection there, it would give them 43 seats, the same number as the New Democrats and Greens together.
Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson thanked Krog for his service to B.C. and wished him the best in his run for mayor.
“Mr. Krog and Premier Horgan know what’s at stake. With an unstable minority government propped up by three Green MLAs in the legislature, the implications of this byelection are significant for the entire province,” Wilkinson said in a statement.