B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has joined a growing list of B.C. NDP cabinet ministers who have announced they will not be seeking re-election, fuelling speculation about a snap provincial election.
Trevena made the announcement Sunday, saying in a written statement: “It is time to move on and take on new challenges.” She has represented the North Island for four terms, or 15 years.
“As a minister I have had an incredible team dedicated to making B.C. better,” Trevena said.
Trevena is the seventh NDP cabinet minister to announce she’s not seeking re-election this term.
The others are:
- Shane Simpson, social development minister
- Michelle Mungall, minister of jobs, economic development and competitiveness
- Judy Darcy, mental health and addictions minister
- Scott Fraser, Indigenous relations and reconciliation minister
- Doug Donaldson, forest and natural resources minister
- Carole James, finance minister
James announced in March that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The others made their announcements more recently.
The announcements are the latest in a series of public statements that some say indicate a fall election is in the making.
The B.C. NDP recently announced candidates for several key ridings and the government has been making announcements for already-committed projects like the SkyTrain extension down Broadway.
Premier John Horgan himself has set the stage for breaking his agreement with the Green Party and asking the lieutenant governor to go to the public for a new mandate.
The number of high-profile cabinet ministers who have announced they will not be running again is “a little puzzling,” says Gerald Baier, associate professor of political science at the University of British Columbia.
Baier says it does appear that Horgan is laying the groundwork for an election, and believes the premier may have talked to his cabinet and asked, “Who’s with me?”
“And that’s precipitating a lot of people saying ‘Well, I’m done. Because I don’t want to hang around for another election,'” said Baier.
Or it could mean the government is giving their constituencies time to get their ducks in a row before next year, he added.
Either way, until the writ is dropped — or not — it’s all conjecture, Baier said.