Candidates in the Tri-Cities’ two federal ridings have been anticipating an election call for months.
Now, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling an early vote for Sept. 20, 2021, the long-awaited campaign has started in earnest.
Campaign offices in some ridings have been open for weeks, the governing Liberals have been on the offensive — even bringing the prime minister to Coquitlam to announce funding for $10 a day child care — and candidates have been out knocking on doors and updating their social media.
So far, most of the candidate spots for different parties have been claimed for the federal campaign except for the Green Party.
(The Tri-City News has reached out for the names of local Green Party candidates and will update as information becomes available).
Local issues are expected to include support for housing initiatives, infrastructure, childcare, the environment and transportation. But it won’t be all easy going — expect some candidates and/or parties to be dogged by protesters against the Trans Mountain pipeline being constructed through Coquitlam.
Hoping to capitalize on the federal Liberal’s control of the public purse are incumbent Ron McKinnon in the riding of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Will Davis, entrepreneur and community organizer, in Port Moody-Coquitlam. Both hope to turn the federal Liberal Party’s minority into majority rule this time around.
With New Democrat Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh at the helm and a Ready for Better slogan, party flag bearers Bonita Zarrillo in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Laura Dupont in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, are hoping voters accept their message of affordability and support for protecting the environment.
Both city councillors — Dupont in Port Coquitlam, Zarrillo in Coquitlam — hope to bring their experience and knowledge of civic concerns to their bid for a federal MP post.
Conservative Party candidates, meanwhile, are counting on federal leader Erin O’Toole to inspire voters in the two local ridings. Incumbent Nelly Shin is running for the Conservatives in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Katerina Anastasiadis is running for the Conservatives in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.
The two Tri-City ridings should expect to see some fireworks over the 36-day campaign, with Zarrillo remounting her hard-fought 2019 battle against Conservative Shin, in which the Port Moody-Coquitlam results went to a judicial recount, which was later called off. Shin managed a 153-vote win over Zarrillo.
The Liberals’ Davis, meanwhile, is an election veteran, having run previously for the federal party, and has been high profile in his school communities.
In Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, popular PoCo councillor Dupont is expected to run a tough campaign against Liberal incumbent McKinnon, while the Conservative Party’s Anastasiadis, also a federal election veteran as a former campaign manager, will bring her experience to the election test.
With a summer election call in the middle of one of B.C.’s driest summers and COVID-19 numbers rising again, some are questioning the prime minister’s decision to call an early election.
The last election was less than two years ago in 2019.
But as local issues take shape and candidates make their visions known, whether this decision was the right call is just a few weeks away.
RIDINGS AND THEIR CANDIDATES
- Conservative: (Inc.) Nelly Shin (Member of Parliament)
- Liberal: Will Davis (entrepreneur)
- NDP: Bonita Zarrillo (Coquitlam councillor)
- People's Party of Canada: Desta McPherson
- Social media: Twitter
- Liberal: (Inc.) Ron McKinnon (Member of Parliament)
- Conservative: Katerina Anastasiadis (Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce executive director)
- NDP: Laura Dupont (Port Coquitlam councillor)
- People's Party of Canada: Kimberly Brundell
This story will be updated as more possible candidates come forward and other information becomes available.