Although theres nothing guaranteed in politics, Conservative Party candidate Chuck Strahl of the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding, which includes Pemberton and DArcy, is as close to a safe seat as a politician can get.
Strahl, who has been representing his riding since 1993 and served as Deputy House Speaker in the last Parliament, is running for a fifth term despite being diagnosed with an incurable form of lung cancer a result of being exposed to asbestos years ago while working in the logging industry.
Strahl says hes healthy, and enjoys huge support. In the last election he received 53.7 per cent of the popular vote, or more than double the votes received by NDP candidate Rollie Keith and three times the votes received by Liberal candidate Bob Besner.
As a result, Strahls riding is one of the few that doesnt yet have a full slate of candidates for the Jan. 23 federal election.
Last week the NDP acclaimed Malcolm James as their candidate for the riding.
James is a university researcher, college instructor, teacher and farmer, and has worked both in the private and public sectors and with three levels of government. He currently teaches at the Sto:lo Adult Education Centre in School District 33.
He has also been involved with the NDP for several years, and has been president of the Chilliwack-Kent NDP Constituency Association since 2000.
The Liberal Party has not yet named a candidate but the local riding association confirmed that some candidates were in the process of filing paperwork, and a candidate will be confirmed at a party nomination meeting on Dec. 28.
The Green Party was still confirming a candidate at press time, but should also have a representative in the riding by the New Year.
For the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky riding, which includes Whistler and Squamish, there are three advance voting dates: Friday, Jan. 13; Saturday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 16.
There will not be an advance polling station in Whistler, but in Squamish the advance poll will be at 38073 Second Ave.