Premier Christy Clark calls by-elections in Vancouver–Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam–Burke Mountain

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      Residents of Vancouver–Mount Pleasant will soon have their first new MLA in nearly 20 years.

      That's because today, Premier Christy Clark called two by-elections for February 2.

      One will take place in Vancouver–Mount Pleasant, which was vacated by veteran NDP MLA Jenny Kwan after she was nominated as a federal NDP candidate. Kwan was elected to Parliament in October.

      The NDP is hoping its candidate, Melanie Mark, will become B.C.'s first female indigenous MLA.

      Melanie Mark (centre) hopes to succeed Jenny Kwan as Vancouver–Mount Pleasant's MLA.
      Charlie Smith

      Mark, a former president of the Urban Native Youth Association, is running against B.C. Liberal Gavin Dew and B.C. Green Pete Fry.

      Dew is a communications consultant and political organizer who's worked on stakeholder engagement and communications for Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline project. 

      Fry is a neighbourhood activist and former president of the Stratchona Residents Association.

      The other by-election will be in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, which was formerly represented by B.C. Liberal Doug Horne. He quit provincial politics after six years in office to run as a federal Conservative candidate, losing to Liberal Ron McKinnon.

      Punk musician Joe Keithley will represent the Greens in Coquitlam–Burke Mountain. He's running against businesswoman Joan Isaac for the B.C. Liberals and the NDP's Jodie Wickens, who's executive director of the Autism Support Network.