Less than two months out from the provincial election (scheduled for Tues., May 9), the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky is no longer a one-horse race.
Dana Taylor, a two-time North Vancouver city councillor and current executive vice-president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of B.C., was announced as the B.C. Green Party candidate in the riding on March 14.
The 66-year-old Taylor, a resident of West Vancouver for the past 30 years, said he's well aware of the challenge he's taken on by running in one of the province's biggest, most-diverse ridings.
"I'd be foolish If I didn't think it was going to be a challenge, but on the other hand it's a vastly changing riding — if you go back 30 or 40 years ago it was a very different place than it is today, and it's increasingly mobile," he said.
"As you move past Lions Bay, it's increasingly young, and frankly, that's where the province's future lies. If we can't accommodate some of the emerging interests of the people who live there, then we're all in trouble across the province."
The challenge is only made bigger by the short lead up time to Election Day.
"I don't have a government promotion department to help give away goodies up and down the corridor. I think the best I might be able to do is a few Popsicles," Taylor said with a laugh.
"But at the same time, I think that what I'm counting on is that people are plugged in and paying attention. I sense a good deal of frustration with the incumbents."
A good place to start, he added, is to try something different.
"I think that's what the Green Party offers. It's a different approach, it's a different agenda, and as I've discovered in the business community, even if you pry the cover off a hardened conservative, you might find they share the same fears and concerns as everybody else does."
And even in a riding as diverse as West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, Taylor said he thinks there are places to bring people together.
"I have some background in labour relations... so I know what intransigent positions look like, when people can't be moved together," he said.
"On the other hand I also know that there are very good possibilities, if the interests are met and the consideration is given, you can bring a good number of people closer together than they would have been otherwise if left to fend for themselves."
The issues Taylor sees facing the riding are familiar to Whistlerites: affordable housing, transportation, and the pressures that come with increased development throughout the corridor.
Candidates have until one week after the official election call, currently scheduled for April 11, to register with Elections BC.
So far neither the BC NDP nor BC Conservatives have nominated a candidate, but Whistler resident Tristan Galbraith is registered as an independent. Check back with Pique in the coming weeks for more provincial election coverage.