Karen Wang speaking to party members on Dec. 29, 2018 (Liberal Party photo)

Karen Wang speaking to party members on Dec. 29, 2018 (Liberal Party photo)

Daycare operator Karen Wang wins Liberal nomination in Burnaby South

Wang told reporters she believes she has what it takes to take on Singh

The federal Liberal party has selected the owner of a daycare business as its challenger against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in an upcoming byelection in British Columbia.

Karen Wang, who owns Angels Playhouse and previously ran in the 2017 provincial election with the B.C. Liberals, was named the Liberal candidate at a nomination meeting in the riding on Saturday.

She defeated biotechnology scientist Cyrus Eduljee, who is product manager for Stemcell Technologies, after 123 members cast ballots.

“I’m so excited and I am so honoured to be selected by you here,” Wang said, before reading a poem she said was written by a Chinese poet.

“My eyes are full of tears because I love this land so deeply,” the poem began.

Wang told reporters she believes she has what it takes to take on Singh, because she has lived in the riding for 20 years and has strong connections in the community.

“He’s not from our local community. He cannot represent you, represent us,” she said.

“I believe we will have a good chance to win in Burnaby South as I believe right now I’m very familiar with our community. I’m one of the people here.”

Wang said her top three priorities would be improving housing affordability by increasing supply, creating more jobs and improving public transit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet set a date for the byelection in Burnaby South, which was vacated by former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, now Vancouver’s mayor. Trudeau is expected to call byelections for the Burnaby South, Outremont, Que., and York-Simcoe, Ont., ridings early in the new year.

The byelection, expected for February, marks Singh’s biggest political test to date, while he also tries to calm party fears about fundraising, slumping polls and a growing list of veteran MPs who say they won’t run in 2019.

Singh has said he plans to focus on campaigning in the riding over the next month, so he can check “elected” off his to-do list for the critical campaign year ahead.

In the 2015 federal election, the NDP won Burnaby South by just over 500 votes.

A party leader who can’t win a seat customarily steps aside, although that hasn’t happened in a byelection since the 1940s. Singh won’t say what he’ll do if he loses.

Corporate lawyer Jay Shin is running for the Conservatives in the byelection, while Green party leader Elizabeth May has said the Greens won’t field a candidate.

Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada plans to name a candidate in the next two weeks, spokesman Martin Masse said. Because the party is so new and only recently established electoral district associations in the riding, the candidate won’t be selected through a typical nomination voting process.

“Essentially, the leader will choose the candidate in each byelection,” Masse said.

Ahead of the nomination vote Saturday, Eduljee told a crowd of about 100 party members gathered at a banquet hall in Burnaby that the “whole country” will be watching the vote in Burnaby South’s byelection.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction has begun on the new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford. (Screengrab from video by CHP Architects)
Construction begins on new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford

School, including childcare spaces, is set to open in September 2022

Bill Hireen joined Remembrance Day celebrations in Abbotsford in 2019. The veteran and long-time civic supporter passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Long-time Abbotsford city council supporter dies of COVID-19

Bill Hireen was a frequent visitor to council and police board meetings

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Abbotsford

Food-delivery company is staring with 60 local restaurants

Nakota Hinksman had been reported missing in Abbotsford, but has since been located.
UPDATE: Missing teen with autism has been located in Abbotsford

Nakota Hinksman, 18, had been missing since 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday

NHL Central Scouting has ranked three Abbotsford hockey talents as likely to be drafted in 2021. (Twitter photo)
Trio of Abbotsford hockey talents placed on NHL watch list

Abbotsford’s Chiasson, Milne and Sward all ranked as C grade prospects for 2021 NHL draft

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Most Read