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Reynolds acclaimed as Conservative candidate

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John Reynolds, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, has been acclaimed as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for the next federal election.

"I am looking forward to the next election with Stephen Harper as our leader and campaigning with him to replace a corrupt and tired Liberal Party," said Reynolds who is Co-chair of the Harper Leadership Campaign.

"Having the support of people in my riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast gives me the confidence to join my fellow Conservatives in offering a national alternative to the Martin/Chrétien Liberals."

Reynolds first entered federal politics in 1972 as the Progressive Conservative member for Burnaby-Richmond-Delta. He has returned to the private sector a couple of times and has run successfully at the provincial level, too.

He returned to federal politics in 1997 and was elected MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast under the Reform Party banner. Since then Reform has been reborn as the Canadian Alliance. The Alliance recently merged with the Progressive Conservatives to form the Conservative Party of Canada.

The federal Liberal party has been saying elections will take place this spring. However, that date may be pushed back if party organizers feel the sponsorship scandal will adversely affect the outcome for the party.

Earlier this month Auditor General Sheila Fraser reported that Public Works and five Crown corporations diverted money to Quebec advertising firms through fictitious contracts, artificial invoices, and elaborate accounting mechanisms. The auditor general’s report states that $100 million of commissions that flowed to the Quebec firms with links to the Liberal party cannot be accounted for.

The election, when called, will be the first with the new electoral boundaries for B.C., which are due to come into effect April 1. The bill outlining the changes, C-5, was passed Feb. 11.

The new electoral district was necessary to accommodate the addition of two new seats for British Columbia in Parliament, in recognition of the growing population of the province.

In the 2001 census, the population of the province was pegged at just over 3.9 million, which translates to 36 federal electoral districts instead of 34.

The new boundaries separate Whistler and Pemberton, with Pemberton becoming part of the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding, which is currently represented by Canadian Alliance MP Chuck Strahl.

The re-drawn West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding, which will still include Whistler but not Pemberton, will also take in more of West Vancouver, making it one of the largest federal ridings in Canada.

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