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Boundaries change but the issues are just as complex

Pemberton, Whistler will be represented in Ottawa by different MPs after June 28



Health care, political integrity and the environment are among the major issues all Canadians will hear a lot about in the lead up to the June 28 Federal election, but in the Sea to Sky corridor there is also a raft of issues citizens will be asked to consider.

The first major change in this election is that the residents of Pemberton are now in a different riding than Whistler and Squamish.

Population growth meant additional seats for British Columbia in Parliament and forced a change to the electoral boundaries. As a result, Pemberton and D’Arcy are now a somewhat isolated pocket of the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding.

Conservative MP Chuck Strahl is the incumbent MP for most of what is now Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon.

Whistler and Squamish are still in the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding, which is represented by Conservative MP John Reynolds.

The other important point to remember at this stage, is that there is still time for parties to register candidates.

Elections Canada has set a June 7 deadline for candidates to run in this election.

The three major parties have already registered candidates in the local ridings and many of them have been campaigning for several weeks. But there are a number of other parties, such as the Communist Party and the Marijuana Party, that may yet present candidates.

Chambers of commerce in Whistler and Pemberton are attempting to organize all-candidates meetings in the two towns. No dates had been set by press time.

In the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding the major parties attempting to defeat Reynolds include the New Democratic Party, which is represented by Nicholas Simons, the Liberal Party, which is represented by Blair Wilson, and the Green Party, which is represented by Andrea Goldsmith. Squamish builder Marc Bombois, 49, has also decided to run again for the Canadian Action Party.

Wilson is a successful businessman who spent almost a decade in university getting degrees in politics and accounting. He has a campaign office in Squamish. When he was in Whistler recently he outlined security leading up to the Olympics and the youth vote as some of the major issues in this area.

Wilson is expected to be in Whistler again next week.

Simons is a health care worker and a musician who is determined to ensure voters see the NDP as the only "reasonable alternative" to the Liberals and Conservatives.

He blames the efforts of these two parties for the widespread voter apathy in Canada and he is also an ardent supporter of the NDP’s new leader, Jack Layton.

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