Premier John Horgan has congratulated Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog on his plan to run for mayor, a few hours before Krog himself was planning to make the worst political secret in B.C. politics official.
Horgan commented on the decision during a stop in Grand Forks Wednesday, where he announced a new disaster relief program for people affected by floods and fires. Horgan also confirmed that Krog intends to keep his MLA seat until the municipal elections across B.C. in October.
“With respect to Leonard Krog seeking the mayor’s chair in Nanaimo, I know that Leonard thought very long and hard about this,” Horgan said. “He was overwhelmed from the entire political spectrum, from people in Nanaimo urging him as a well-respected leader in the community to step up and help with bringing stability to the council there in Nanaimo.
“There’s been a long-standing challenge in the city and Leonard believes, and many people believe that he is the best person to address that. I wish him all the best and I know that he’ll be continuing his duties as MLA, continuing to represent the citizens of Nanaimo until the election period begins in the fall.”
Krog’s departure sets up a provincial by-election in Nanaimo, held by Krog and the NDP since 2005. If the B.C. Liberals win the seat, it would set up a tie in the legislature where speaker Darryl Plecas would be called upon to cast deciding votes on provincial legislation.