With the newly carved federal riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon up for grabs in the 2015 federal election, more candidates for the Conservative nomination have put their names forward.
The riding was created in the reshaping of Canada’s electoral map, and is one of 30 new ridings across the country. The area contains the northernmost portion of Abbotsford, all of Mission, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs, and runs up through the Interior, north of Lillooet and Ashcroft.
Already announced are Brad Vis, Doris Woodman-McMillan and Korky Neufeld, all of Abbotsford.
Paul Redekopp of Abbotsford recently announced his intentions to seek the nomination. The independent contractor and former caregiver to people with developmental disabilities has previously run for the Conservatives in the last provincial election and independently for Abbotsford city council in November, but did not win either seat. Currently, Redekopp sits on the board for The Child Development Centre, his church council and volunteers with many charities and non-profit organizations in the community.
Liv Grewal will also vie for the nomination. Grewal is currently a behavioural economics consultant who seeks to provide strategies for utility companies on how to get consumers to decrease water consumption. Grewal, who is the son of Nina Grewal, Conservative MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, specialized in political science at Simon Fraser University and public management and governance from the London School of Economics. He is currently a member of the Abbotsford chamber of commerce and sits on its government affairs committee.
From the northernmost part of the new riding, retired Ashcroft mayor and businessman Morley H. Anderson – better known as Andy Anderson – is also seeking the Conservative nod. Anderson said the idea of running federally came to him while promoting Ashcroft Terminal – the community’s inland port – as mayor. He said one of his goals is to make the benefits that come out of the Asia-Pacific Gateway accessible to all communities, especially those situated along water routes or train tracks.
Abbotsford’s former mayor Bruce Banman – who did not regain his seat in the November election – said while he was encouraged to run, after much thought he has decided not to let his name stand.
Only Conservative party members can vote in the nomination race and the date of the vote has yet to be determined.
The Liberal party has already selected their candidate for the upcoming election, Abbotsford businessman Jatinder (Jati) Sidhu. Art Green of Hope will run for the Green party.
While there has been speculation of a spring election, it is expected that voters will head to the polls in the fall.
– With files from The Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal