Candidates in the Tri-Cities are looking to endorsements to help gain voter support in the lead-up to the Oct. 21 federal election.
With less than a week to go before voting day, enlisting the assistance of local politicians, environmental groups and unions is one way to broaden appeal, especially for candidates who may need an extra push to get their names known in the community.
And while not all candidates have sought endorsements, including the local Green Party hopefuls and the People’s Party of Canada candidates, those who have done so said they hope that linking their names with local mayors and councillors will benefit them at the polls.
Port Moody-Coquitlam Liberal candidate Sara Badiei was first off the mark, sending in a list of endorsements that included Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart as well as former Port Moody mayor Mike Clay, Belcarra Mayor Neil Belenkie, PoMo Coun. Meghan Lahti and Anmore Coun. Paul Weverink.
The campaign office for Nelly Shin, Badiei's Conservative opponent, did not respond to a request for a list of endorsements but NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo's campaign provided an extensive list of people who endorsed her candidacy, including outgoing NDP MP Fin Donnelly. Also in Zarrillo’s court is Selina Robinson, MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville; Chief Ed Hall of the Kwikwetlem First Nation; Port Coquitlam city councillors Laura Dupont and Nancy McCurrach; Port Moody Coun. Amy Lubik; Coquitlam Coun. Chris Wilson; school trustees Jennifer Blatherwick of Coquitlam and Lisa Park of PoMo; and well-known community members Ruth Foster, Elaine Golds and Fred Soofi. Zarrillo also has the backing of the New Westminster and District Labour Council and Unifor Local 2000.
Candidates in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam are also seeking endorsements, with Conservative candidate Nicholas Insley listing Sen. Yonah Martin, a former candidate for the Conservatives in the Tri-Cities, and James Moore, former Conservative MP, as actively engaged in and supporting the campaign. Other supporters of Insley include PoCo Coun. Mike Forrest, former Coquitlam Coun. Terry O’Neill and current Coquitlam Coun. Brent Asmundson.
The NDP candidate for the Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam riding, Christina Gower, also has a number of endorsements. Supporting Gower are Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Rick Glumac and PoCo MLA Mike Farnworth, PoCo Coun. Dupont, McCurrach, Glen Pollock and Coquitlam Coun. Wilson, PoMo Coun. Lubik, the advocacy group LeadNow. As well, Gower signed a pledge to protect salmon at wildfirst.ca. As well, she is being endorsed by the New Westminster and District Labour Council.
Liberal MP Ron McKinnon, running for re-election, has several endorsements on his campaign website, mckinnon.liberal.ca/pmb-endorsements/ for his successful private members bill The Good Samaritan Overdose Act.
While endorsements may be seen as a way to broaden appeal, Green Party candidates Bryce Watts (PoMo-Coquitlam) and Brad Nickason (PoCo-Coquitlam) said they aren’t seeking any endorsements. The People's Party of Canada candidate for PoMo-Coquitlam, Jayson Chabot, also said he wasn’t seeking endorsements from public officials or groups.