October 10, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Meet the Sea to Sky candidates 

Make your mark in the 2008 federal election

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The West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding is the largest in Canada in terms of population, with 129,241 people and 95,306 registered voters, according to the latest census and tax rolls. It�s also the fourth largest by area, as well as one of the most difficult to navigate, with communities separated by mountain highways and ferry rides.

Turnout in the riding has been low, with just 68.6 per cent of eligible voters turning out in 2006, and slightly fewer in 2004.

Turnout in Pemberton�s riding, Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, was even lower, with 63.5 per cent of eligible voters heading to the polls in 2006 � not surprising when you consider that Conservative Chuck Strahl won the previous four elections, and was expected to win by a landslide. He�s now running for his sixth term in office.

Our advice is to get familiar with the candidates and the federal parties. Visit their websites, read the campaign materials, and on Oct. 14 show up to vote. Remember, if you don�t vote then you can�t criticize.

The Incumbent: Blair Wilson, Green Party

Website: www.blairwilson.ca

Bio: Blair Wilson has been the MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country since 2006. He was elected as a Liberal candidate. He resigned from the party in October of 2007 after allegations of improper campaign spending. He was later cleared on those charges, aside from three minor infractions, but had a falling out with the party in December. He sat as an independent until the eve of the election, when he joined the Green Party.

Wilson was born and raised on the North Shore and holds a bachelor degree in political science from the University of Victoria, and a Chartered Accountants designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia.

His private sector career includes a stint with Clarkson Gordon, which became Ernst and Young. He also opened his own firm in North Vancouver, and pursued a wide variety of business opportunities in trade, consumer and security products, hotels and restaurants and real estate development.

Wilson has also been involved in an array of civic activities, and chaired the 2010 Rally on Robson to support the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He is also an avid runner and athlete, and completed Ironman Canada in 2001 and 2003.

His career in Parliament includes chair of the B.C. Caucus of the Liberal Party, as well as the Official Opposition Critic of National Revenue, and the Associate Critic for Finance, and the Critic for Sport and the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympic Games. He also served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

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