MLA McIntyre gets a Green challenger 

Jim Stephenson to run in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky

West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA Joan McIntyre has her first official challenger in Green Party candidate Jim Stephenson.

Stephenson, a federal Green candidate in the 2006 election, is currently a computer consultant. He has a Bachelor of Sciences in electrical engineering and a joint Ph.D in business and economics from Stanford University.

He's had experience as a consultant with the economic development portfolios of the Haida and Cowichan First Nations, as well as projects for BC Hydro, BC Gas and WorkSafe BC.

He's now running in the new riding of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, which stretches from West Vancouver along the coast of southwest British Columbia and north to D'Arcy. It includes Lions Bay, Bowen Island, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

"I think the Green Party has an excellent chance in this riding," Stephenson said. "Dennis Perry, as you know, ran in the previous election (and) came in second. I am a similar professional type of candidate, a businessman, so I think that I can build on the strides that he made."

Stephenson claims in his online biography to have a deep history in environmental issues that dates back three decades. He's worked at UBC's Westwater Research Centre and edited a book about applying economic incentives to pollution control.

He's also traveled to Nashville to train with Al Gore to deliver the "Inconvenient Truth" PowerPoint slideshow, and has presented it for 50 groups.

He feels that people are frustrated with the "arrogant actions" of the B.C. Liberals and their "ideological bent."

"They seem to pursue some of their private sector agendas when they pursue other policies and I think that ends up with some distorted polices," he said. "An example is turning over B.C. rivers to offshore power corporations."

In 2006 Stephenson was a Green Party candidate in the riding of North Vancouver. In that election he came fourth out of five candidates, taking 4,483 votes and 7.49 per cent of the vote. Former Liberal MP Don Bell won that election.

The NDP has yet to nominate a candidate in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

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