KELOWNA WEST – Respected business owner, community leader, former minister and two-time local MLA Ben Stewart will be the BC Liberal candidate in the upcoming Kelowna West by-election, the party announced Friday.

Stewart is a long-time champion for the BC wine industry and is a strong advocate for small businesses, local tourism, and technology. Elected to the legislature in 2009 and again in 2013, he served as minister of citizens’ services, minister of community and rural development, and minister of agriculture. Stewart subsequently served the province as BC’s Special Representative in Asia, working to secure investment and create jobs in BC.

“Representing the constituents of Kelowna West and serving British Columbia has been the honour of my lifetime, and I’m humbled by the community’s support and this opportunity to serve again,” Stewart said. “My team and I are ready to work hard and win this by-election – now all we need is for the NDP to call it so I can get back to standing up for jobs and a strong economy, here in the Okanagan and throughout BC.”

“Ben is a true leader in his region, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him back to our team as a candidate,” said Sharon White QC, party president. “At this exciting time in our party, Ben’s candidacy in Kelowna West will give local party members and residents another strong representative they can count on.”

“There’s no excuse to delay – the people of Kelowna West deserve a great representative like Ben in the legislature, and John Horgan should give them a chance to vote right away,” said opposition leader Rich Coleman. “I look forward to welcoming Ben Stewart back to our team as we work hard to represent British Columbians.”

Stewart will be formally nominated Thursday, September 21 at 6:00 PM at the Westbank Lions Hall. More details will be shared with local party members shortly. By law, the government has until February 4th to call the by-election.

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