NDP, Greens missing candidates to run against Abbotsford MLAs

BC Liberal incumbents have little to worry about, according to one political scientist

School board trustee Preet Rai is running for the NDP in Abbotsford West in the provincial election this May.

School board trustee Preet Rai is running for the NDP in Abbotsford West in the provincial election this May.



The incumbent BC Liberals have such a strong lock on Abbotsford’s three ridings that competing parties are struggling to find “sacrificial lambs” to run against them, political scientist Hamish Telford says.

With just 70 days until election day on May 9, the University of the Fraser Valley professor called the seats “extremely safe” for the area’s three well-known MLAs: Mike De Jong, Darryl Plecas and Simon Gibson.

School trustee Preet Rai is the only major party candidate who has been declared to run against Abbotsford’s incumbent BC Liberal trio. He is representing the NDP in Mike De Jong’s Abbotsford West riding.

“I am not a sacrificial lamb,” Rai said. “I went into this with my eyes open … It’s going to be an uphill battle but I’m in this to win.”

Rai said he plans to run a campaign that both prosecutes the failings and shortcomings of Premier Christy Clark’s BC Liberal government and provides a positive alternative from the NDP and its leader John Horgan.

This is Rai’s seventh political campaign. He had two failed runs for school trustee before winning in three consecutive elections. In 2013, he took his first crack at becoming a provincial politician but lost to Gibson in Abbotsford Mission, earning just over half as many votes as the Liberal.

Rai said the NDP is in conversations with a number of potential candidates to run against Gibson and Plecas.

De Jong said he is not complacent about his seat in legislature, even though he has held it since 1994.

“We don’t take anything for granted,” he said. “I know I’ve been the MLA for a number of years, but each time you have to remind yourself that in this relationship I am the servant and the people are the boss and they need to be satisfied that you’re going to continue working on their behalf effectively.”

He said he has been continuing regular constituent outreach, both as MLA and in his role as finance minister, for which he conducted a recent telephone townhall.

“At this stage, it’s very much about ensuring people have a way to sit down and speak with me.”

The Green Party has not yet named candidates in any of the three ridings.

“It’s going to be extremely difficult for those parties to find candidates to run out here,” Telford said.

But he said strong candidates can still serve a vital part in the democratic process by holding incumbents to account during the campaign.

– with files from Tyler Olsen

@KelvinGawley

kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

 

Just Posted

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Death of man found on road in Abbotsford now deemed suspicious

Body found May 8 on North Parallel Road was initially labelled hit-and-run

A pair of rare peregrine falcons have returned to their nesting site at an Abbotsford quarry, resulting in increased concerns from opponents about their safety. (PHOTO: #savebcfalcons Instagram page)
Concerns escalate about rare peregrine falcons as blasting set for Abbotsford quarry

Opponents worried after birds return to nesting site at quarry on Quadling Road

Todd Richard sings “Green and Blue” as HHSES students get ready to belt out the chorus during the school’s Music Monday on May 3. He is currently in the running for a top 100 spot in the 2021 Toyota Searchlight competition. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Top 100 bound?: Harrison country artist Todd Richard vies for Toyota Searchlight prize

First round ends on May 20, votes can be submitted every day

The Abbotsford Law Courts (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford man sentenced second time for sexual offence involving child

Bradley Roan Smith, 60, was previously convicted in 2016 of sexual interference

The mighty Fraser during freshet on May 2, 2021 at Island 22 Regional Park. A new B.C. coalition representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, is calling on B.C. to reverse decades of wildlife and habitat declines. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)
Coalition calls on B.C. to invest in wildlife stewardship and habitat protection

Representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, they seek to reverse decades of declines

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at Maple Ridge School’s main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

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

Most Read