After weeks of pre-election campaigning that flooded newspapers, television, radio and social media with political ads, the official provincial election campaign finally got underway with the April 11 visit by Premier Christy Clark to Government House in Victoria to dissolve the legislature and begin a 28-day run to voting day on May 9.
Clark and other MLAs became candidates the moment Lt. Governor Judith Guichon issued the election writs for voting in 87 constituencies, with two new seats added in Surrey and Richmond.
In the Langleys, two incumbent Liberal party candidates with multiple wins under their belts are looking to keep their streak going.
Mary Polak has won Langley three times in a row since 2005, while Rich Coleman has recorded five wins in a row in the former Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding since 1996.
Coleman won’t be running in Fort Langley-Aldergrove this year, however, because of a redistribution by the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission that split it into three newly named or reconfigured ridings.
Coleman is now seeking re-election in the new Langley East, a “T” shaped riding, that runs from the Fraser River to the U.S. border, with the top part of the “T” including the area from 264 to 196 Streets, and the bottom part including the area between 216 and 248 Streets. At press time, there were four candidates registered with Elections B.C. in Langley and Langley East and another four had announced their intention to file the necessary paperwork.
The registered candidates in Langley are Liberal Mary Polak and the NDP’s Gail Chaddock-Costello, with Elizabeth Walker of the B.C. Green Party and B.C. Conservative candidate Justin Greenwood announcing they will be filing nominating papers.
In Langley East, Liberal Rich Coleman and the NDP’s Inder Johal have filed their papers with Elections B.C., and Green Party hopeful Bill Masse and BC Libertarian candidate Alex Joehl have said they will be filing.
One candidate who announced last year that he would be running as an independent against Polak in Langley has pulled out of the race.
Medicinal marijuana advocate Randy Caine
said he realized if he won as an independent with no party behind him, it would leave him little opportunity to affect change.
“I would be shoved into an office in the basement (of the legislature) never to be heard from again.”
He said his decision has nothing to do with the state of his health, which he said was good despite being diagnosed with a slow-growing form of lung cancer last year.
Candidate nominations for the 2017 Provincial General Election will close at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 18.