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Wilson ready for federal election

NDP, Green Party busy with provincial vote

For the federal Liberal Party, 2004 candidate and Vancouver restaurant owner Blair Wilson will once again represent the party in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky after an acclamation meeting this weekend.

In the 2004 election, the Liberal Party came close to regaining the riding for the first time in 32 years when Wilson came within 1,700 votes of Reynolds and capturing 32.5 per cent of the popular vote.

The NDP, represented by Nicholas Simons, was third with 21.7 per cent of votes, while the Green Party and Andrea Goldsmith was fourth with almost 10 per cent of all votes.

If Parliament is dissolved this week, Wilson says he will be ready to campaign.

"We never really stopped campaigning," said Wilson. "With a minority government anything can happen at any time, so we’ve just continued to build on the momentum we started in the last election.

"For the last year I’ve been working to build the party and to maintain our support base and membership base. We’re ready to go. It should be fun."

Wilson’s campaign workers, all new to campaigning, also have their 2004 experiences to draw on.

"We’re much further ahead than we were last year when we actually started at ground zero and built up a significant base level of support," said Wilson.

The membership and executive of the riding association are backing Wilson, who is not expecting any challengers at the meeting this Friday.

Wilson supports the Liberal Party leadership in Ottawa, as well as the budget that is being voted on today.

"I think this election… is going to really show the contrast between the two parties (Conservative and Liberal). That’s really important and I think that’s why (Belinda) Stronach crossed the floor. There is a significant different between the two parties in respect to our position on cities, our positions on women, our positions on young people… I’m very happy she had the courage to make the leap.

"It’s still going to be close, the two sides are pretty much tied at this point and anything can happen. There’s never a dull moment, which is part of the reason why I like politics."

The NDP Party have not declared a candidate for this riding. Simons, their candidate in the 2004 election is currently running for the Provincial Legislature in the Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding. The head of the riding association did not return Pique’s calls at press time.

Green Party candidate Andrea Goldsmith, who earned close to 6,000 votes in the last federal election, said she has not decided yet if she would run in a federal election.

"Most of the Green Party is involved in the provincial election. They’re aware of what’s happening at the federal level obviously, but it’s a lot of the same people involved at both levels, provincial and federal, so they haven’t been able to organize a candidates meeting yet," said Goldsmith.

"It’s short notice, but the Green Party has been building every year and gathering momentum. We’re stronger now provincially because of the federal election last year and everything we’ve learned, and if the federal election is called we’ll be stronger because of the provincial election.

"Every election we get stronger."