Supporters of the federal Liberal party may actually have a local candidate to support this federal election in Abbotsford.
Two local Liberals say they are pursuing the nomination of the federal party. In 2015, the Liberals garnered 33 per cent of the vote even though the local candidate Peter Njenga wasn’t from the city and was found to have made multiple outlandish claims on social media prior to the election.
Seamus Heffernan and Paljeet Singh are both seeking the party’s nomination to run against longstanding Conservative MP Ed Fast.
Singh, who is the riding chair, has run a local IT company for more than a decade and lived here since 1999.
Singh said in an email: “The more we make this city more affordable through education, the environment and having fantastic jobs that we need here in Abbotsford. I will help all levels of government and keep us together.”
Heffernan, meanwhile, manages the constituency office of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu, teaches criminology classes at the University of the Fraser Valley and last year published a detective novel.
He told The News that Abbotsford has been good to him since he moved to Abbotsford five years ago to pursue his criminology master’s degree at UFV.
“In the time that I’ve been here [Abbotsford] has changed terrifically and I think perhaps a change in leadership may reflect that change.”
Heffernan’s potential candidacy could set up a strange situation given the campaign dynamics in Sidhu’s own riding, where the Conservative candidate is Brad Vis, an assistant to Fast.
Should Heffernan win the nomination, Sidhu’s assistant would be running against Fast, while Fast’s assistant would be actively trying to unseat Sidhu.