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Fenton officially NDP candidate

Candidacy confirmed at April 17 riding meeting

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Former Squamish councillor Lyle Fenton was acclaimed as the NDP candidate for the West Vancouver-Garibaldi riding at a packed riding association meeting on Sunday.

Fenton chose to run in response to the record of the Gordon Campbell government, which he says has been dangerous for the province.

"I decided to run because of what the Campbell government is doing to our health care, our services and our infrastructure, like B.C. Hydro and B.C. Rail," said Fenton.

Fenton became active in politics through the environmental movement. His first campaign was to create a process in Whistler to treat sewage, rather than release it untreated into the salmon-bearing Cheakamus and Squamish rivers.

"Which they did, and not to brag, now Whistler has one of the highest standards of sewage treatment anywhere," said Fenton.

Fenton served on the District of Squamish council from 1996 to 1999, and has remained active on various issues through his involvement with the water caucus of the B.C. Environmental Network.

As a Squamish-based politician, Fenton acknowledges that it will be a challenge to get his name out in West Vancouver and in other communities like Whistler, but he says the level of support is building.

"There are indications of support from all communities that we haven’t seen before," he said. "It’s there, we just have to get out there to talk to people and let them know where we stand. It’s amazing how many people are upset with what this government has done – actually, it’s not amazing, it’s completely understandable. (Campbell) is doing long-term damage."

In addition to concerns about increased privatization of public services like health care and utilities like B.C. Hydro and B.C. Rail, Fenton also feels that the people of B.C. have been under-represented in the provincial government.

"We need to give people a chance to participate, none of these backroom deals we’ve seen where all of a sudden there’s an announcement. There’s a private highway in West Vancouver, then it was announced. B.C. Rail was sold, then it was announced. They do it, then they announce it."

Affordability is also an issue, with the cost of living increasing across the province. "The real campaign is to make things more affordable for everyday British Columbians," said Fenton.

Fenton will be making several appearances over the next few weeks, and will debate the other West Vancouver-Garibaldi candidates at several all-candidates meetings. The Whistler all-candidates meeting is on Tuesday, May 3 at the Telus Whistler Conference Centre.

"I’ll be doing some door knocking, and I have a few events lined up on top of the all candidates meetings, and the list of events is building every day. It’s nice to have this much momentum this early in a campaign," said Fenton.

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