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Liberal still the only candidate

Leader of Eagleridge Bluffs coalition might make an independent run

Just 10 weeks away from the next provincial election and Liberal Joan McIntyre is still the only person who has been officially nominated to run in this riding.

The New Democratic Party has candidates nominated in 59 of the 79 ridings for the May 17 election, but not in West Vancouver-Garibaldi.

And the Greens, who have a big following in Whistler and on Bowen Island, will be holding their candidate nomination meeting around the end of March.

The X-factor in these early stages is Dennis Perry, the motivated leader of the Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs.

The Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs is the group that has been lobbying against the province’s decision to go with the overland, four-lane Highway 99 expansion at Horseshoe Bay, rather than a tunnel. Perry and the coalition want the government to build a tunnel under the bluffs because they believe it’s more sustainable and not as costly as the government has said it will be.

"If I run, then it will be to get some transparency into the government process and to get rid of this smoke and mirrors approach the Liberals are taking," said Perry.

NDP spokesman David Bieber said his party might not nominate a candidate in this riding until the first week of the election campaign.

"West Van would be one of the 20 places where we haven’t got a candidate yet and I believe they haven’t set a nomination date," said Bieber. "So we are expecting that some places will nominate closer to, if not in, the first week of the election and West Vancouver-Garibaldi might be one of those."

Bieber said the incumbent party, which in this case is the Liberals, have an advantage but he was adamant the NDP would have a candidate in every riding.

"We’re going to be fighting hard everywhere (just) like Surrey-Panorama Ridge which we took quite strongly, so we are going to be taking every seat very seriously."

NDP leader Carole James announced three weeks ago that she would be running in her home riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill.

Green Party of B.C organizer Tom Cornwall said there were two candidates seeking the party’s nomination in this riding, but there are several others who are contemplating a run for office.

"Two people have been nominated for West Vancouver; Silvaine Zimmerman from Bowen Island and Lee White in Squamish," said Cornwell.

"At the latest we’ll have our nomination meeting at the end of March, probably March 29."

Province-wide the Greens have 24 candidates in place, including their leader Adrianne Carr who will run in Powell River-Sunshine Coast.

Retiring Liberal MLA Ted Nebbeling won the West Vancouver-Garibaldi seat in 2001 with 57.62 per cent of the vote.