Comox Mayor Paul Ives announced over the weekend he is seeking the nomination for the BC Liberal party, following Comox Valley MLA Don McRae’s announcement last month that he is stepping down from provincial politics.
“I was not thinking about it at all until I heard that Don was stepping down. I had no intention of doing that anytime soon … (political opportunities) don’t always come about when it’s convenient,” he said.
Ives has been involved in municipal politics for 14 years, including two terms as a Comox councillor, and eight years as mayor.
Ives explained the successful candidate for the newly-reconfigured Courtenay-Comox Electoral District for the BC Liberals should be known by September or October.
The Village of Cumberland, Denman and Hornby islands, along with Buckley Bay and Fanny Bay and are now in the Mid-Island-Pacific Rim Electoral District.
He added in terms of his position on Comox council, nothing will change until if and when he is elected MLA.
“It’s standard procedure to take a leave of absence for 35 days leading up to the election. If you are elected, there is a period of transition.”
The provincial election is set for May 9, 2017. Ives said there would be about one-and-a-half years left to his term as mayor, and while possible, he noted he would be “hard-pressed to continue on with the two roles.”
“It would unfair to residents sitting in both roles,” he said, and added most likely there would be a mayoral byelection if elected.
By working on a variety of provincial-level groups such as the Climate Leadership Team, Ives noted he has a long-standing interest in provincial politics, and has good working relationships with current Liberal and opposition MLAs.