Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sure, that's what we needed, Gord - Another Election

Three elections in 33 days
Two B.C. byelections between federal, local votes
Jack Keating
The Province

Premier Gordon Campbell served up an election sandwich yesterday, announcing that two byelections will be held on Oct. 29.

The byelections in Vancouver-Burrard and Vancouver-Fairview will be sandwiched between the federal election on Oct. 14 and the Vancouver civic election Nov. 15.

That's three elections in 33 days for residents of the two ridings.

Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt resigned the Vancouver-Burrard seat to run for the Conservatives in the federal election. The NDP's Gregor Robertson resigned the Vancouver-Fairview seat to run as Vision Vancouver's mayoral candidate.

Businessman Arthur Griffiths is the Liberal candidate in Vancouver-Burrard. COPE park board commissioner Spencer Herbert is the NDP candidate.

The NDP candidate in Fairview is Jenn McGinn, an account manager with Vancity and former vice-president of Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. The Liberal is Margaret MacDiarmid, a family doctor for more than 20 years and former president of the B.C. Medical Association.

"Fairview residents are concerned about homelessness and the plight of the mentally ill and addicted," said MacDiarmid.

Said McGinn: "People are telling me they are tired of being ignored by a government that turned a deaf ear when local business owners lost their livelihoods thanks to botched planning on the RAV line."

Griffiths and Herbert both list homelessness as a big issue.

"People in my neighbourhood have had it with a government that gives its top advisers massive pay hikes while refusing to raise the minimum wage," said Herbert.

Vancouver-Burrard will become two new ridings -- Vancouver-West End and Vancouver-False Creek -- for the provincial election next May 12.

Griffiths said he will seek the Liberal nomination for Vancouver-West End, regardless of the byelection outcome.

© The Vancouver Province 2008

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