West Vancouvers Barbara Ann Reid officially entered the race to win the West Vancouver-Garibaldi riding on Wednesday, May 4 hours before the final deadline for declaring new candidates. She is running for the B.C. Conservative Party, which is fielding just seven candidates across B.C. in this election, most of them in the Interior. Reid is the treasurer for the party, as well as the secretary and a member of the Policy Committee.
The party is not allied with the federal Conservative party, although Reid and other party members are conservative supporters at both the federal and provincial level. Despite the conservative label, however, she is opposed to privatizing Crown Corporations, in favour of a commuter rail option to Squamish and Whistler, and in favour of using real estate transfer taxes to help the homeless British Columbians.
She acknowledges that she has lost out on a lot of opportunities to campaign publicly by declaring her candidacy at the last minute, including missing several all-candidates meetings, but Reid says the decision to run was prompted by the campaign itself.
"I thought the conversation, the political conversation, was moving in circles and needed some new input," she said.
Reid has been involved in politics for decades, including co-chairing the campaign for Progressive Conservative MP Ron Huntington (Capilano Howe Sound), a former minister of small business and industry in the Joe Clark government, and a Member of Parliament from 1974 to 1984.
Professionally, Reid started her career as an accounting department statistician in a firm owned by MacMillan Bloedel. She was a co-owner of a small import company that over 25 years grew into Pacific Steel, with branch offices in Western Canada.
A sailing enthusiast, Reid and her husband helped to establish the Pacific Spar on Granville Island. She has also been Commodore at the West Vancouver Yacht Club.
During the winter, Reid and her family are avid skiers and have been to resorts around the province.
As a mature student, Reid also went back to Capilano College where she earned diplomas in Fine Arts and Humanities.
The B.C. Conservative Party has a general platform on its website, www.bcconservatives.ca, as well as a philosophy statement that ranks priorities. Among their more ambitious plans are linking provincial taxes as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product, cutting taxes and red tape for businesses, enhancing access to preventative and alternative medicine, allowing parents to choose between different types of schooling, and allowing MLAs to vote freely on all legislation, except for measures of confidence like the budget.
The party also supports the Single Transferable Vote system, and is urging its supporters to vote yes on the referendum.