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A look at Delta-Richmond East candidates

Six candidates are running in Delta-Richmond East. We asked them: “A measure of the strength of a political representative can be gauged by the causes they champion. If you were to write a private member’s bill, what would it be?”

Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay, 55, is a lawyer who lives in Vancouver and a longtime member of the federal Conservative party, but was previously a Liberal. A mother of four, Findlay unsuccessfully ran in Vancouver-Quadra in 2000 for the Canadian Alliance. In 2005 she sought the Conservative nomination in Richmond but lost to Darrel Reid. While originally losing the nomination this time around, she was anointed the candidate after the party threw out Dale Saip for past financial issues.

“I have been a court reform and access to justice advocate throughout my 30 year law career. A private member’s bill is not necessary when you agree with your Party’s well-considered and well thought out policies.  A Conservative majority would champion the rights of victims of crime, particularly our most vulnerable elderly when subjected to fraud, neglect and violence.  As a mother of four, the security and protection of families and children is always uppermost in my mind, and we must continue to emphasize public safety through clear legislative objectives. For me, these are not just national issues, but very local issues.”

Alan Beesley, Liberal

Alan Beesley, 48, is trying to outdo his party’s 2008 showing in the riding, where Liberals only earned 22 per cent of the vote. A Vancouver resident and former corporate and commercial lawyer, Beesley owns the Tofino Fish Company, a Vancouver Island-based plant that manufactures ice for the commercial fishing industry. Beesley joined the Liberal party in 1984, and since then has worked behind the scenes on campaigns, including Michael Ignatieff’s successful leadership bid.

“The measure of a society can be taken by the manner in which it treats its most vulnerable.  I would propose a bill to further assist those people with special needs and give additional assistance to those families with children with special needs and disabilities. A great society takes care of all of its people. Canada is a great society. I am proud to be part of it.”

Nic Slater, NDP

Nic Slater, 55, is hoping to give the NDP a better showing in a long-held conservative riding. In 2008 the party got 14 per cent of the local vote. The loss of farmland prompted Slater to run. A Ladner resident since 2002, Slater is a businessman who grew up in Montreal and moved to Whistler in 1979, where he was a longtime member of a search and rescue team, and twice worked on Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed's campaign.

“I am running to be your MP to be a strong local representative for the residents of Delta-Richmond East.  Our community must be heard in decisions affecting our lives.  My first private member’s bill would encourage more “open government”.  It would be based on the initiative implemented by U.S. President Barack Obama—my private member’s bill would advance the values of transparency, participation and collaboration.  As I have said throughout this campaign too many decisions are being made by non-accountable agencies—any agency created by the federal government like the harbour authorities or the airport authority would have to function according to those principles.  With the Internet and social media tools there is no excuse not to encourage citizens to participate in the decisions which affect their lives.”

Duane Laird, Green Party

Duane Laird, 53, is hoping to make inroads for the Green party, which only managed to secure 7.8 per cent of the vote in 2008. Laird is a 19-year Ladner resident who ran unsuccessfully in two provincial elections, manages a small apartment building and owns a cargo bicycle company. The Greens have yet to win a seat in Ottawa.

“2.1 billion litres of bottled water was consumed by Canadians in 2006. Each of the bottles is created from oil, with a lifespan of 1,000 years in a landfill. Enough oil is used in the manufacture of the bottles to power 75,000 cars for a year. To manufacture, clean and bottle one litre of water requires three litres of water.

“My private member’s bill would levy a significant tax on bottled water. Ninety per cent of that tax would fund the beleaguered municipal and First Nations water treatment systems across Canada, 10 per cent would be used to dig wells in Africa.”

John Shavluk, Independent

“As Canada’s population ages and/or as disease reaches a large portion of the population with deadly consequences.
With court ruling not reflecting the reality in Canada.
I stand to bring about a discussion and possible resolution to the issue of a guaranteed ‘right to die with dignity’ in Canada.
The current model does not support safely and lawfully ending one’s own life without leaving one’s own country.
This is wrong. Like other victimless crime we currently have, we place no weight on fairness, liberty, or freedom to choose.

It is time we elected for this purpose address this very important issue.”

Jeff Monds, Libertarian

Jeff Monds is a Vancouver resident who has previously ran for the Libertarian Party of Canada in Vancouver and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission.

He was not able to respond by The Richmond Review’s Friday morning press deadline.

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