Former finance minister Mike de Jong presents one of his four balanced budgets in the B.C. legislature, February 2016. (Black Press files)

B.C. Liberal leadership race warms up

Polls pop up in support of Mike de Jong, Dianne Watts

A day after a poll was distributed showing former B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong is the best bet to defeat NDP Premier John Horgan in the next election, de Jong issued a brief statement Friday saying he’s considering another run at the B.C. Liberal leadership.

Earlier this week there was a similar poll released, picking former Surrey mayor and Conservative MP Dianne Watts as the party’s best bet against the NDP.

Other contenders are expected to be former B.C. Liberal education minister and Dawson Creek mayor Mike Bernier, and former advanced education minister and party president Andrew Wilkinson, and Michael Lee, a rookie MLA elected in Vancouver in May.

The Insights West poll that favoured Watts compared her popularity with that of Vancouver MLA and former mayor Sam Sullivan and Jas Johal, the rookie MLA for Richmond-Queensboro. Johal and Kevin Falcon, the former cabinet minister who finished second to Christy Clark in the 2011 B.C. Liberal leadership contest, have indicated they are not seeking the leadership.

The poll picking de Jong was conducted by Mainstreet Research, sponsored by an organization called Free Enterprise B.C.

Just Posted

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

CVRD hikes fire protection requisition limit for rural Ladysmith by 25 per cent

Cowichan Valley Regional District is increasing the annual requisition limit for fire… Continue reading

Ladysmith runner reaches podium on new Pioneer 8K course

Meg Lewis-Schneider with CeeVacs Roadrunners Club sets event record

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Island passengers say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Most Read