Liberals close to choosing candidate 

The Liberal Party of Canada’s green light committee is close to vetting the third candidate for the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding, and in the next week will likely announce plans for a candidate election meeting.

To date, Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland is the only candidate to confirm his intention to run for the Liberal nomination.

MP Blair Wilson was elected as a Liberal but sits as an independent. He resigned from the party voluntarily last year as a result of an Elections Canada investigation into his campaign spending. While he was cleared in the investigation, it brought to light inconsistencies in Wilson’s nomination application to the Liberal Party. Last December the party decided to sever ties with Wilson, and begin the search for his replacement.

The announcement of a candidate election comes as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is considering whether to call a snap election as early as next week, a year ahead of the next scheduled election. Harper’s Conservative Party governs with a minority in Parliament.

Both the Conservatives and NDP already have candidates ready in the Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding. The Conservative Party is represented by West Vancouver’s John Weston, who lost to Wilson in the 2006 election by less than 1,000 votes or 1.5 per cent of the total votes cast.

The NDP candidate is Roberts Creek resident Dana Larsen, who has been an advocate for legalizing marijuana since 1994 and was a founding member of the Marijuana Party of Canada and B.C. Marijuana Party. He is currently the senior manager of the Vancouver Seed Bank.

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