Yes Virginia, we’re officially one year away from the next federal election
unless Stephen Harper decides to call it early?!?, which means strategically timed biographies, soft-focus pieces about families, and rote weekend features – and that’s just for one party!
We’re also at the point where races are taking shape in most of the 338 ridings next year’s election will be fought in. Postmedia’s Jason Fekete has potinted out that the Conservatives/NDP/Liberals still have to nominate a majority of their candidates. That being said, B.C. has plenty of nominated candidates, interesting nomination battles, or general intrigue in all 42 ridings.
So let’s take a look at each of them.
Vancouver Island (7 ridings)
1. North Island-Powell River
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP John Duncan won by 3.1% over the NDP.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Duncan has elected to run one riding to the south, in Courtenay-Alberni, and thus far the only Conservative running to replace him is his longtime advisor Laura Smith. The NDP, meanwhile, has immigration non-profit director Rachel Blaney going up against longtime labour leader (and former CEP president) Dave Coles. The Liberals already have a candidate—former Environment Canada researcher Peter Schwarzhoff.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 8.5. This will be the first time since 1993 that John Duncan isn’t running in the northernmost Vancouver Island riding, but it still profiles as a Conservative-NDP dogfight, with a strong Liberal campaign being a wild card.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP James Lunney by 8.1% over the NDP.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? John Dunacan won the Conservative nomination over the summer. The NDP nomination was taken by former Tofino councillor/Chamber of Commerce director Gord Johns. The only Liberal to publicly declare interest thus far has been Parksville councillor Carrie Powell-Davidson.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 7. While Duncan is a proven winner, this riding became more winnable for the NDP when it gained Courtenay and lost the northern Nanaimo suburbs, and looks to be a toss-up at this point.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Nobody—it’s essentially a new seat thanks to the redistribution, with no incumbents running.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Duncan councillor Martin Baker and former provincial Conservative Party candidate Damir Wallener have been the only two declared Conservative candidates for months. Meanwhile, the NDP is a six-way battle, with cheesemaker Hillary Abbott, Jean Crowder assistant Alistair MacGregor, regional district Ian Morrison, union activist Ellen Oxman, Nick Wade, and Georgina Collins, who thus far is the only nominee in any party to declare her candidacy by jumping into a lake.
There doesn’t seem to be any candidates for the Liberals yet, but they only received 5.8% of votes from 2011 polling stations in this new riding, so…yeah…
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 5. This profiles as a NDP-Conservative tossup once candidates have been selected…but there’s no word at this time when that will be.
WHO WON LAST TIME? The NDP’s Jean Crowder won by 10.6% over the Conservatives.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Crowder has decided to step down, but the NDP have a strong replacement candidate in Islands Trust chairwoman Sheila Malcolmson. She’ll be going up against the former editor of the Nanaimo Daily News (which gained some infamy last year for publishing inflammatory letters about First Nations), Mark MacDonald.
There don’t seem to be candidates for the Liberals yet, but they only received 6.8% of votes from 2011 polling stations in this new riding, so…yeah…
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 6.5. All four ridings on Vancouver Island outside the capital region have interesting NDP-Conservative battles forming, though this is probably the “safest” NDP seat.
WHO WON LAST TIME? The NDP’s Randall Garrison won by just .6% over the Conservative candidate.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? After some hemming and hawing, Garrison decided to run again and was just renominated. I couldn’t find any Liberal or Conservative candidates who are running at this time.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 5.5. This diverse riding has had tight three-way races for years and will be of interest come next year—but for now, there’s nothing to talk about.
WHO WON LAST TIME? The NDP’s Murray Rankin defeated Green Party candidate Donald Galloway by just 2.9% in a 2012 byelection to replace fellow Dipper Denise Savoie, who won by 27.2% in the 2011 election.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Murray Rankin and…that’s about it at the moment. I haven’t found any Liberals, Conservatives, or Greens who are running public campaigns for a nomination…although you’d imagine that will change following November’s municipal elections.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. This riding is strongly favoured to stay with Rankin, and will remain so until any challengers step up.
7. Saanich—Gulf Islands
WHO WON LAST TIME? Green Party leader Elizabeth May became the first elected Green MP in Canadian history last time around, defeating longtime Conservative MP Gary Lunn by 8.7%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? It’s assumed May will run again, but no candidates from any party have publicly declared interest in this Greater Victoria riding, and yes, I am repeating myself.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 4. There will be sufficient interest whether May can hold this riding (should she choose to contest it), but press the snooze button for now.
The Interior (9 ridings)
1. Skeena—Bulkley Valley
WHO WON LAST TIME? The NDP’s Nathan Cullen defeated the Conservative candidate by 20.6%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Cullen will run for the NDP again after spurning overtures to run for the provincial leadership. Beyond that, there are no other candidates at this point.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1.5. You’ll hear about this riding in the context of the Northern Gateway pipeline—but that’s about it, as Cullen will be the overwhelming favourite.
2. Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative candidate Bob Zimmer defeated the NDP candidate by 36.5%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Nobody has challenged Zimmer from the other parties yet—not surprising, considering nobody outside the Conservatives/Alliance/Reform/PCs have won this northeast BC since 1972.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1. Unless you live there, you will not have to think about Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies this election cycle.
3. Cariboo—Prince George
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Dick Harris, in the house since 1993, defeated the NDP candidate by 26%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Harris said in Februrary he was planning on running again, but has since stepped back from the pledge—and in that void a number of Conservatives have made plans. Teacher Gerald Caron, consultant Nick Fedorkiw, Todd Doherty and businessman TJ Grewal have all publicly declared their interest in the seat. Prince George Mayor Shari Green hasn’t, but her decision to not seek local re-election has certainly raised speculation.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 5. There will be plenty of interest in this riding up until the exact point a Conservative candidate is chosen.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Cathy McLeod defeated the NDP candidate by 15.3%.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3. There’s plenty of time for Sundhu and Powrie to campaign against the Conservatives, and the NDP have always polled decently in Kamloops. Keep an eye on this riding if you’re a masochist who likes keeping tabs on ridings months before elections are held.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative candidate David Wilks defeated the NDP candidate by 22.7%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Wilks has been renominated to run for the Conservatives, but I haven’t found any Liberal or NDP candidates who are running yet.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. This riding gained the left-leaning towns of Nelson, Salmo and Kaslo in the redistribution, making it much more friendly to the NDP—but until they have a candidate, you’re excused for ignoring it.
6. North Okanagan—Shuswap
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Colin Mayes defeated the NDP candidate by 29.1%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Mayes has decided to retire and all three main parties have their candidates in place. Salmon Arm businessman Mel Arnold won the competitive Conservative nomination, and based on riding history he’ll go in as the favourite against Ryerson professor Jacqui Gingras (running for the NDP) and community leader Cindy Derkaz (running for the Liberals). And the Green Party also a nominee—retired accountant Dave Smith.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2.5. The lack of an incumbent make this a slightly more interesting riding than other interior districts that perpetually elect Conservative candidates.
7. Kelowna—Lake Country
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Ron Cannan defeated the NDP candidate by 35.2%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Cannan will be running against Liberal Stephen Fuhr, a former CF-18 fighter pilot. An NDP candidate is TBA.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. Fuhr’s candidacy has an interesting backstory—but this is Conservative country, through and through.
8. South Okanagan—West Kootenay
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP MP Alex Atamanenko defeated the Conservative candidate by 12%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Atamanenko has decided to step down and the riding, having gained Penticton while losing Nelson, has become decidedly more conservative. All three parties have nominated their candidates—Marshall Neufeld for the Conservatives, biologist Richard Cannings for the NDP, and education administrator Connie Denesiuk for the Liberals.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 7. With no incumbent and heavily redrawn borders, this is a rare interior race that should get some national campaign attention.
9. Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative candidate Dan Albas replaced Stockwell Day in this riding, winning by 29.4% over…you guessed it, the NDP.
(The Liberals, um, did not do well in the interior last election. They actually finished in fourth more times than the Greens.)
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Albas is running again, but to the best of my knowledge, no Liberal or NDP members are seeking the nomination quite yet.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1.5. Barring the completely unexpected, Dan Albas’ twitter exchanges will be more interesting than his actual reelection bid.
Fraser Valley (5 ridings)
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative candidate Mark Strahl followed in his father’s footsteps, taking the bulk of this riding (known as Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon) by 31.4%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Besides Strahl, who is running again
and will win? The Liberals have nominated Louis De Jaeger, a Chilliwack businessman. The NDP don’t seem to have any candidates as of yet.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1.5. Strahl country it has been, and Strahl country it will, in all likelihood, remain.
2. Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon
WHO WON LAST TIME? This is essentially a new riding, which includes Mission and Agassiz in the Fraser Valley, but also the Fraser Canyon towns of Lillooet, Lytton and Cache Creek.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? The Liberals have already nominated their candidate—Jatinder Sidhu, a Fraser Valley businessman. Thus far, three people have put their name forward for the Conservatives: former Ed Fast advisor Brad Vis, community leader Doris Woodman-McMillan and school trustee Korky Neufeld.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2.5. This *should* profile as an uneventful Conservative seat, but the strange boundaries, lack of history and Liberal headstart on campaigning are all things to keep a note of.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Ed Fast defeated the NDP candidate by 44.8%, the largest margin of victory by percentage in the province.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Ed Fast and…that’s about it, in terms of public campaigns so far.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1. The last time anyone cared about Abbotsford electorally was…um…
4. Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Randy Kamp defeated the NDP candidate by 18.8%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Kamp and…so far, that appears to be it.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3. The riding is more urban/suburban than ever, increasing the chances of an NDP pickup—but they’ll need a strong candidate for a real chance.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Mark Warawa defeated the NDP candidate by 44.1%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Warawa and…yep. Can’t imagine why there aren’t Liberals and NDP chomping at the bit to run in the Fraser Valley.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1. The good news is we’ve reached the end of the boring Fraser Valley races!
The bad news is that we’re only halfway done.
Metro Vancouver – South of the Fraser (8 ridings)
1. Cloverdale—Langley City
WHO WON LAST TIME? It’s a new seat, taken from three different urban-rural ridings that all went heavily Conservative last time around.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? From my July update:
There are no less than five candidates for the Conservative nomination: Former Liberal MLA Dave Hayer, former MP Gurmant Grewal, insurance salesman Mike Garisto, Surrey businessman Paul Brar, and former Langley city councillor Dean Drysdale.
They’ve since been joined by the delightfully-named Tako van Popta. Whoever wins that six-pack challenge will be the favourite against Liberal nominee John Aldag, while the NDP have not put forward a candidate as of yet.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 6.5. Like Cariboo-Prince George, this will be a fascinating race up until the point a Conservative is nominated.
2. South Surrey—White Rock
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Russ Hiebert defeated the NDP candidate by 34%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? After months of speculation, Surrey mayor Diane Watts confirmed last month she would run for the Conservatives in South Surrey-White Rock. Who the immensely popular mayor faces remains to be seen—former Grand Forks councillor Joy Davies is the only Liberal to mount a public campaign for her party’s nomination.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1.5. Watts will win. The only question is whether she left municipal politics to become a cabinet minister or a backbench MP.
3. Fleetwood—Port Kells
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Nina Grewal defeated the NDP candidate by 14.9%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Grewal has been acclaimed, but I’ve been unable to find candidates from the Liberals or NDP publicly campaigning for the nomination.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3. A suburb riding with many growing families, a strong Liberal or NDP candidate could open the door ever so slightly.
4. Surrey Centre
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP candidate Jasbir Sandhu took this riding from the Conservatives, defeating MP Dona Cadman by 4%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Sandhu has been acclaimed, and again, there are no other candidates publicly running at this stage. Part of that could be the competitive municipal elections taking up people’s time, part of it could be that Surrey often has lengthy behind the scenes machinations before public campaigns…and part of it is simply that we’ve got a year to go.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 7.5. Will definitely be a riding to watch on election night regardless of who the candidates are…but who the Liberal and Conservative decide upon will also be worth watching.
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP candidate Jinny Sims took this riding from the Liberals, defeating MP Sukh Dhaliwal by 2%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? The same people as last time—Sims has been nominated by the NDP, while Dhaliwal has recovered from a tax scandal that forced him to sit out the 2013 provincial election to seek federal office once again.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 8. It could very well be a Sims-Dhaliwal rematch, and the Conservatives can’t be counted out either, should they get a strong candidate.
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay defeated the NDP candidate by 31% in the much larger riding of Delta-Richmond East.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Findlay decided over a year she would run in Delta after her riding was effectively split in two, and thus far there are no Liberal or NDP candidates.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. The redistribution has made this riding more rural, and Findlay should be the heavy favourite regardless of competition.
7. Steveston—Richmond East
WHO WON LAST TIME? This is a new seat, created by the splitting of Delta-Richmond East into two ridings.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? School trustee Kenny Chiu has already won the Conservative nomination here. Businesswoman Wendy Yuan, who ran for the Liberals in Vancouver-Kingsway the last two elections, has said she’ll seek the party’s nomination here, while former MP Joe Peschisolido (who was elected with the Canadian Alliance in 2000, but switched to the Liberals halfway through his term) may also run.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3. The Conservatives will be favoured, but every new riding with no incumbent bears watching.
8. Richmond Centre
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Alice Wong defeated the Liberal candidate by 39.7%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Wong is expected to run again, but I couldn’t find anyone from the Liberals or NDP who are publicly campaigning at this stage.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. It would take a collapse of the Conservative vote in Metro Vancouver for Wong to be in any serious danger here.
Metro Vancouver – North of the Fraser (7 ridings)
1. West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP John Weston defeated the Liberal candidate by 22%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? This is one of the few seats in Canada where all four national parties have their candidates already in place. Weston has been acclaimed to run again for the Conservatives, while small businessman Larry Koopman will run for the NDP.
But it’s a pair of ex-mayors from the riding’s two main population centres that make this race especially intriguing, as the Liberals are putting forward two-term West Vancouver mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, while the Greens are running former Whister mayor Ken Melamed.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 7. While it generally favours the Conservatives, the riding’s diversity, along with strong Green and Liberal candidates, should make this a fun campaign.
2. North Vancouver
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP Andrew Saxton defeated the Liberal candidate by 19%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Saxton is expected to run again and will face Liberal candidate Jonathan Wilkinson, an environmental businessman. The NDP have yet to select a candidate.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3. This area can go to the Liberals in the right circumstances, but it remains to be seen if this race will become competitive.
3. Burnaby North—Seymour
WHO WON LAST TIME? This is a new seat, made necessary by the growing population on the north shore—though the awkward combination of two cities separated by a bridge into one riding caused much gnashing of teeth.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? The Liberals have nominated Terry Beech, a businessman who was once an 18-year-old Nanaimo councillor, while the Conservatives have countered with Mike Little, a three-term councillor from the District of North Vancouver. The NDP have yet to select a candidate, but actor and former candidate Michael Charrois has put his name forward.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 6.5. This new riding should favour the Conservatives, but will definitely profile as a swing seat on election night.
4. Burnaby South
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP candidate Kennedy Stewart defeated the Conservative candidate 2% in the old, more northern riding of Burnaby-Douglas.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Stewart was acclaimed in this riding some months ago, while the other parties have yet to nominate a candidate—though Adam Pankratz has put his name forward for the Liberals, while Mike Calingo has done the same for the Conservatives.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 4. Stewart is popular and this area has become more NDP-friendly over the past decade…but it could still profile as a tight race.
5. New Westminster—Burnaby
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP MP Peter Julian defeated the Conservative candidate by 13.8%.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 5. This riding has become more favourable to the NDP with the boundary changes, but all Burnaby ridings are traditionally battlegrounds come election time.
6. Port Moody—Coquitlam
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP MP Fin Donnelly defeated the Conservative candidate by 4.5% in the more NDP-friendly old boundaries of New Westminster-Coquitlam.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Donnelly has been acclaimed by the NDP, while the Conservatives have nominated Tim Laidler, a young man who became executive director of the Veterans Transition Network after returning from combat in Afghanistan.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 7.5. Donnelly is popular, but the new boundaries help the Conservatives by removing New Westminster while adding Port Moody, and Laidler has plenty of time to prepare for his first campaign.
7. Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative MP James Moore defeated the NDP candidate by 26%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Moore will run again, but who the Liberals and NDP will nominate remains to be seen.
Interestingly, the only NDP candidate so far is Sara Norman, a local radio reporter who made headlines last year for a mini-controversy involving…James Moore. She says the situation didn’t motivate her to run.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3.5. Amusing for the journalist-politician angle if Norman becomes the NDP nominee, but it’s hard to imagine Moore losing at this stage.
Vancouver (6 ridings)
1. Vancouver Centre
WHO WON LAST TIME? Liberal MP Hedy Fry defeated the NDP candidate by 5%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Fry is going for her eighth term, but who she’ll face in this high-profile riding remains to be seen. The NDP have a race between outgoing Park Board commissioner Constance Barnes and Alisdair Smith.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. If Fry could win when the Liberals were under 20% nationally in 2011, she has to be considered the heavy favourite with them now high in the polls.
2. Vancouver Quadra
WHO WON LAST TIME? Liberal MP Joyce Murray defeated the Liberal candidate by 3.5%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Murray, who finished second to Justin Trudeau in the Liberal leadership race, will run again. The NDP is expected to nominate Park Board commissioner Sarah Blyth (there’s another candidate running according to Blyth, but I can’t any information about them), while no Conservatives have stepped forward.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 2. A strong Conservative candidate could make a difference in this riding, but if the Liberals could hold onto this seat in 2011, they should hold it in 2015.
3. Vancouver East
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP MP Libby Davies defeated the Conservative candidate by 43.9%, the party’s highest margin of victory west of Quebec.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Davies is expecting to run, and there is more speculation on who will face her than you would expect for a riding so orange. Much of this is because Jodie Emery, wife of “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, has declared her interest in running for the Liberals; whether the party will approve her candidacy is to be determined. Former Mountie Richard Jaques is also seeking the Liberal nomination.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 1.5. Emery will get attention if she runs, but Davies has increased her margin of victory in every election since 1997 for a reason—she’s tremendously popular here, and it’s hard to see her losing.
4. Vancouver Kingsway
WHO WON LAST TIME? NDP MP Don Davies defeated the Conservative candidate by 22%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Davies will run again for the NDP, but it’s unknown who he’ll face. John Bolduc Arthur and past New Westminster candidate Mary Pynenburg have put their names forward for the Liberals, while Filipino-Canadian paralegal Francisco “Jojo” Quimpo is seeking the Conservative nomination.
More importantly, Quimpo is also an accomplished entertainer known for his covers of Journey songs (this is a real fact), so while he’d be an underdog against Davies, we all know what his campaign song would be.
However, controversy over Quimpo’s academic background has raised the chances of him and the Conservatives going their Separate Ways…
…or they could welcome him with Open Arms.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 3.5. A strong Liberal candidate and campaign could turn this riding red, but it will be hard for anyone to overturn Davies.
5. Vancouver South
WHO WON LAST TIME? Conservative candidate Wai Young took this seat from the Liberals, defeating former BC premier and current Oscar Bluth doppleganger Ujjal Dosanjh by 8.7%.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Young is planning on running again, while the NDP race is wide open. The Liberal race, however, is full of intrigue, with two high-profile Indo-Canadian candidates—Col. Harjit Singh Sajjan and Barjinder Singh Dhahan—reportedly jostling for an inside track to the nomination.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 8.5. The Liberals will campaign with fervour to take back this riding from the Conservatives, regardless of whom they nominate—although that will be interesting in of itself.
6. Vancouver Granville
WHO WON LAST TIME? This is a new riding, created from bits and pieces of all five of the old Vancouver ridings.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS TIME? Jody Wilson-Raybould, theAssembly of First Nations British Columbia regional chief, is one of the Liberal Party’s star candidates and was acclaimed here over the summer. Former mayoral candidate Jennifer Clarke and businessman Erinn Broshko are seeking the Conservative nomination.
LEVEL OF INTEREST: 9. All three parties have a legitimate shot at taking this new seat, and who the Conservatives and NDP match up against Wilson-Raybould will be most intriguing.
There you have it. All 42 ridings in B.C., as they stand one year before the federal election. And it only took us 4100 words! Now go forth with your increased knowledge!