The B.C. Liberal Party is offering scant details on why a local resident’s application for candidacy in the Kootenay-East riding was denied.
Terry Segarty, one of three candidates running for the B.C. Liberal nomination, said his application was rejected by the party.
An internal party email addressed to Segarty confirmed the decision, which was made by the Candidate Approval Subcommittee (CAS).
“Having reviewed your application and related documentation, CAS is denying you the status of being a contestant for the Candidate Selection Meeting in Kootenay-East. All decisions of the CAS are final and cannot be appealed pursuant to section 9.2(d) of the BCLP Constitution.”
Jillian Stead, a BCLP spokesperson, said the CAS looks at multiple factors when deciding on an application for candidacy.
“The Candidate Approval Subcommittee (CAS) does not provide the reasons for a disproval,” Stead said, “however, what CAS typically considers is the Questionnaire completed by individuals and whether or not those responses are complete, thorough and consistent against the background file compiled by independent researchers.”
Segarty told the Townsman on Tuesday that his bid for the B.C. Liberal nomination was rejected this past weekend. Segarty was running alongside Tom Shypitka and David Wilks for the nomination, which will be decided by a party membership vote in a few weeks.
Segarty says his bid was denied because of the ‘Top Hat’ affair and his association with Bob McLelland, a former Social Credit cabinet minister who was scandalized for allegedly hiring an escort service that was under surveillance by police in 1985.
Segarty was a newly minted cabinet member at the time as a Social Credit MLA and had met with McLelland for breakfast earlier in the day of the incident. However, he was dragged into McLelland’s court case through a subpoena, which was eventually quashed, according to Paul Willcocks, who chronicled the event, along with other political scandals in his book, ‘Dead Ends’.
“It’s something that’s been out there in the community a long, long time — it was used against me during the last nominating period (2001) by persons associated with the campaign, and snow it’s surfaced again,” Segarty said on Tuesday.
Segarty previously represented the region as MLA when it was known as the riding of Kootenay from 1979-1986 as a Social Credit member.
With Segarty’s name off the ballot, that leaves Shypitka and Wilks going head-to-head for the nomination, which will be decided by membership vote on Oct. 22-23 in voting locations across the riding.
The two candidates have agreed to support each other no matter the outcome in a bid to prevent the NDP from winning the Kootenay-East seat, according to a press release issued by the B.C. Liberal Party on Wednesday.
Wilks, a 20-year veteran of the RCMP, represented the Kootenay-Columbia riding federally for the Conservative Party for four years before losing his seat in the last election. Shypitka is currently sitting on Cranbrook city council and works as a financial advisor.
Bill Bennett, the incumbent MLA and Minister for Energy and Mines, announced his retirement in June after serving through four electoral terms over 16 years in provincial politics.
“An anti-development, job-killing NDP government would be a disaster for British Columbia, especially in areas like Kootenay East where many of us depend on natural resources,” Bennett said. “I’m really proud that Tom [Shypitka] and David [Wilks] have put their differences aside and agreed to fight side by side for the future of working people, families and seniors in the region.”