B.C. Liberal house leader Mary Polak and leader Andrew Wilkinson describe meeting with Speaker Darryl Plecas at B.C. legislature, May 30, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press Media)

Langley MLA disappointed election call came during pandemic

Mary Polak said she still wants to help constituents when asked why she’s running again

Langley Liberal MLA Mary Polak said fixed election dates would have allowed the province to be ready for an election next autumn.

Now voters, candidates, and parties are scrambling with the election call for Oct. 24.

Polak, first elected in 2005, said it’s not a complete surprise that Premier John Horgan dropped the writ because “they’ve [the NDP] been dancing around this for quite some time.”

But she’s disappointed because NDP MLAs and others stood in the Legislature in the spring and said they were committed to the concept of fixed election dates.

Polak said more importantly, it would have happened next autumn when society has a better handle on COVID-19.

As it stands, a 2020 election will be unlike any voters have ever experienced.

Polak said the pandemic precludes in-person campaigning, public townhalls and other such gatherings, especially since case numbers are rising.

“It’s going to mean a lot more use of technology. Lots of phone calls,” she said. “But it also means the date of voting will be somewhat different.”

The Liberals say they will go to a great deal of effort to educate that voters that while general election day is Oct. 24, voters can cast ballots throughout the election period and how they would go about that.

“We’re going to make sure people know that,” Polak said.

The pandemic will impact every aspect of a traditional election campaign.

There will be no main-streeting, she noted. While there is some discussion about whether to do door-knocking, she said she’s not comfortable doing that.

“It will be largely a technological campaign,” Polak commented.

She added that the Liberals are already having conversations about their concerns over technology and whether that will leave out certain groups.

“There are people like our seniors who are not as comfortable with technology so how do you reach them,” she said.

A set election date would have allowed election officials and parties to plan for such things to hopefully overcome barriers to voting.

As well, an election during the pandemic means key policy work and decision making cannot get done because all the government ministers are off campaigning. That removes any government nimbleness to deal with the changing situation.

“You have shut down government effectively for the next 32 days,” Polak said.

Despite the challenges, Polak wants to continue as Langley’s MLA. Since being elected first in 2005, she’s been minister of environment, minister of transportation and infrastructure, and minister of children and families, among other duties.

She said she is running this time for the same reason she ran 15 years ago – “The main reason you get involved in the first place, is the same reason you stay. You want to help people,” Polak said.


The Langley BC Conservatives Association plans to run candidates in both the Langley and Langley East ridings.

“We will have candidates in both ridings, and they will be announced in the next few days,” said

Justin Greenwood, president of the Conservative Party of BC.


• WATCH for updates from the various parties…


Got a news tip?

Email: heather.colpitts@langleyadvancetimes.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dwain and Lillian Seymour discovered their Murrayville home was listed for rent without their knowledge as part of a scam. (Langley Advance Times/file)
Guilty plea in Langley rent fraud case

Arrested man admits to 14 criminal counts

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Trial in killing of seven-year-old Langley girl delayed again

KerryAnn Lewis will go on trial next week

Police surround a vehicle with smashed windows outside Langley Memorial Hospital on Sunday evening (Oct. 18) at around 9 p.m., in possible connection to a shooting in Surrey at the intersection of 184th Street and 80th Avenue earlier that evening. (Photo: Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services)
Shooting in rural Surrey leads police to vehicle with smashed windows at Langley hospital

‘It is believed that this is a targeted event and the general public is not at risk,’ Surrey RCMP say

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Most Read