There's a hole where an NDP candidate used to be.
Bill Forst, nominated as the New Democratic Party's candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country in September 2009, is stepping down from the job because it doesn't look as though there will be an election this spring.
"When I stood for nomination... I made it clear to members that I would not be able to continue to stand as Candidate if there was no election by the Spring of 2010," he said in a news release. "This circumstance is due to long standing retirement plans for a 'sabbatical' year of travel in Europe from June 2010 to June 2011."
Forst, formerly a teacher and school counsellor in Gibsons and Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast, said he'll continue in the position of riding association president and can be contacted via e-mail, telephone and Skype. Riding vice-president Charles Burns has agreed to carry out riding operations in his absence.
Forst took over as NDP candidate in the 2008 federal election when Dana Larsen was forced to resign after videos surfaced of him doing LSD and smoking marijuana... and driving a car under the influence of drugs.
Forst ultimately came fourth in the 2008 election, losing to Conservative John Weston and receiving nearly as many votes as Green candidate Blair Wilson. Liberal candidate Ian Sutherland came second.
Forst went on to say that he remains committed to the federal NDP, particularly its passage of Bill C-311, federal climate change legislation that he said could make the government "accountable to Canadians for action on climate change through regular reporting on measures to achieve firm targets."
He has recommended a nominating convention take place on Sept. 18 to select a new candidate in case another election should be called. If an election is called earlier than that, he said emergency nominating processes will be undertaken.
"I am confident a worthy candidate will be selected," he said.