Meet Blair Wilson
Decked out in a Liberal red vest, Blair Wilson was one of the most instantly recognizable people at the MountainFM Christmas Breakfast on Dec. 12.
Some people remember Wilson from the 2004 federal election campaign, when he came within 700 votes of popular incumbent John Reynolds of the Conservative Party.
Others, including many of the children at the breakfast, recognized Wilson’s face from all the campaign signs sprouting up along the highway.
Wilson likes Whistler. He has a weekend place here and comes up often to ski and recreate. He also did well here in the last election, capturing 1,548 votes of the 3,549 votes cast, and more than twice as many votes as any other candidate – at a time when the federal Liberal Party was juggling the $100 million sponsorship scandal and accusations of cronyism.
At the breakfast, Wilson got a chance to do what he does best – meet the public. In the 2004 election and the current one Wilson has earned a reputation as a relentless campaigner, going from door to door in between meetings with community and business leaders across the riding. He even broke up a house robbery in progress last year while knocking on doors in West Vancouver.
Like the other candidates he isn’t thrilled about running an election campaign through the Christmas season, but is excited to have another chance so soon at representing his riding. With Reynolds retiring, Wilson knows the race is wide open and that the weeks before the Jan. 23 election are crucial.
"We already have twice as many volunteers this year, and all kinds of people are stepping forward to help out locally," he said prior to Christmas. "I think all of the candidates are in a kind of holding pattern until the New Year, and then you’ll really start to see some hard campaigning and the debates and honest discussions about policy."
Wilson is also using this time to form relationships with local governments and community leaders so he can be a more effective representative if he is elected.
"Right now my plan is to meet and work with as many people as possible, so I can work with Ottawa to get more support for this region. I see my role as helping to swing the pendulum to B.C. with more allocation of federal resources, and then to work with mayors and councils to put those resources in the best place possible. We have the Olympics coming, the population is growing and putting a strain on the infrastructure, the economy is changing in a lot of ways – this area is going to need a lot of attention."