News » Whistler

Federal Liberals choose from three candidates



As the Pique went to print Wednesday the Liberals in the West Vancouver Sunshine Coast riding were choosing a candidate for the next federal election.

Blair Wilson, John Moonen and Phil Boname have been vying for nomination in this riding during the past month and even the staunchest supporters in all three camps admitted it was going to be a close race.

Boname is the incumbent Liberal nominee and the only person to have consistently threatened John Reynolds in the polls.

Boname has a strong following in Whistler but kept a lower profile than the other two in the lead-up to Wednesday’s vote.

Moonen came to Whistler three weeks ago and talked about how Paul Martin and the Liberal Party were addressing the advertising scandal.

Wilson campaigned in Whistler for better technology to help younger people get involved in politics and more funding for the emergency services in the lead up to 2010.

Both Moonen and Wilson outlined how important voter participation was, particularly with adults under 25.

"The big trick is getting the voters out because in the other ridings they’ve only been getting about 30 per cent of the eligible party members out," Moonen said.

"It’s rough on the voters only getting seven days notice on the (candidate’s) election date as well."

The Liberals are the last major political party to select a candidate in this riding.

The Green Party’s Andrea Goldsmith was unopposed. The New Democratic Party opted for Nicholas Simons and the Conservative Party decided to stick with MP John Reynolds.

Reynolds recently released a campaign flyer with the results of a survey he conducted in the fall of 2003.

The flyer provides results on questions regarding the legalization of marijuana and the definition of marriage but the majority of it is dedicated to highlighting the Liberal’s advertising scandal.

Reynolds says in the flyer that "Paul Martin was the finance minister, vice-chair of the Treasury Board, and Jean Chretien’s right hand man during the most scandalous years of the sponsorship program, 1997-2001".

In 1997 John Reynolds represented the Reform Party of Canada and won with 20,091 votes, which was 40.06 per cent of the vote in this riding.

Dave Thomas represented the Progressive Conservatives and won eight per cent of the vote.

The Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives are now united as the Conservative Party of Canada and just two weeks ago they selected Stephen Harper as their leader.

Boname finished second to Reynolds in the last election with 34.52 per cent and 17,314 votes. This result represented a five per cent increase for the Liberal party over the 1997 election.

The NDP was third overall, while the Green Party was fourth with 4.62 per cent of the vote.

The West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding was created in 1996 and represented 76 per cent of the old Capilano-Howe Sound riding and 41 per cent of North Island-Powell River riding.

The areas inside the West Vancouver Sunshine Coast riding now consist of the Powell River, Sechelt, Gibsons, Squamish and Whistler.

Texada Island, Gambier Island, Bowen Island and Goat Island are also part of this riding.