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Election 2013: The race to represent

Five candidates, four weeks. The provincial election is coming to an end and on May 14 voters will choose the new MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

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The other debates

There was only one debate out of four in which all five candidates appeared. For the record, the turnout apart from Whistler was: West Vancouver on April 28 — Sturdy, Santos, Warrington and McLeod; Pemberton on May 1 — Sturdy, Santos and Johnson; Squamish on May 2 — Sturdy, Santos, Warrington, McLeod and Johnson. The final debate is in Lions Bay on May 9.

It is worth noting that there are no major position changes by any of the candidates over the course of the four debates, all apart from Johnson stick to party platforms.

Other issues over the course of four debates include taxation, the provincial debt, social services and the standard of living, education, Sturdy's feelings about representing the riding in Opposition if he wins locally and the NDP win provincially, industry and jobs in the Sea to Sky corridor, youth engagement, GST, the carbon tax and more.

Tourism

In Pemberton, the three candidates present are asked about changes to Destination BC, an industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to coordinate marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels, and what they would do to help tourism in the region.

Sturdy says changes to Tourism BC have brought back a balance that is beginning to work, "not so much government, but an industry-government combination." He says there is no perfect formula, but it is going in the right direction. "Funding for the RMOW is clearly very important... I will continue to support an enhanced tourism industry."

Santos says the NDP would also invest in Destination BC and bring more "tourism experts" into the mix. "There is a great opportunity for many forms of cooperation. I would like to see collaborations with aboriginal tourism... BC Parks would also get more funding. We need to put in more of an effort."

Johnson is less concerned. "I take a different stance. We just had the biggest advertising campaign the region could hope for, the Olympics. If we're not on the map now, we never will be... let's take a break."