Premier Christy Clark reportedly brings on former finance minister Carole Taylor as an adviser

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      Consider it another sign that the 2017 B.C. election campaign is closer than much of the public realizes.

      The Vancouver Sun has reported that a former B.C. finance minister, Carole Taylor, has been added to Premier Christy Clark's retinue.

      Reporter Rob Shaw didn't cite any named sources in his story, which stated that Taylor would be paid $1 per year and work out of the premier's offices in Vancouver.

      Taylor served one term in the legislature from 2005 to 2009, representing Vancouver-Langara. Before that she chaired the boards of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Vancouver Board of Trade,  and the Vancouver Port Authority (since merged into Ports Metro Vancouver).

      She is also a former Vancouver city councillor and hosted television shows on CTV and CBC.

      Taylor remains popular in Vancouver, which went heavily NDP in the last election. Seven of the city's 11 MLAs are on the opposition benches and Clark herself lost in Vancouver-Point Grey.

      After the election, the premier only appointed two cabinet ministers from Vancouver: Suzanne Anton and Andrew Wilkinson.

      Former mayor Sam Sullivan and former cabinet minister Moira Stilwell didn't make the grade.

      Meanwhile, British Columbians go to the polls in May 2017. With the decline in liquefied-natural-gas prices in Asia, it's looking less likely that any of the large projects in B.C. will be approved before then. Clark made LNG a cornerstone of her 2013 election campaign.

      On February 2, there will be provincial by-elections in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain.

      If NDP candidates Melanie Mark and Jodie Wickens capture these seats, it will give Opposition Leader John Horgan a much-needed boost.

      Advance polls are open in both constituencies this weekend and on Wednesday (January 27) and Thursday (January 28). For voting locations and times, see the Elections B.C. website.