Civic leaders give boost to provincial candidates

Greg Halsey-Brandt doubles down on former colleague Linda Reid while Coun. Carol Day backs NDP's Kelly Greene

A past mayor and present city councillor are throwing their votes behind two opposing parties, highlighting some of the issues at play in Richmond, this upcoming provincial election.

Former mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt is supporting Richmond South Centre Liberal Linda Reid this election — the two having been Liberal MLAs, from 2001-2005, under Premier Gordon Campbell.

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Halsey-Brandt said it will be important for Reid to garner more name recognition in the newly-carved riding, where BC NDP Chak Au is likely to be more well-known due to his civic position and higher ethnic Chinese demographic.

Halsey-Brandt said in following BC NDP leader John Horgan, he gets the sense of a return to late-1990s politics under the NDP.

“We had to borrow a pile of money to get through the ’90s. All I see is what he (Horgan) is going to do, and it looks wonderful, but it’s going to cost a heck of a lot of money.

“The Liberals and Christy Clark are a bit more balanced in terms of what the government can deliver, in the context of reality,” said Halsey-Brandt, citing concerns over the one percentage point increase to corporate taxes the NDP is proposing (one of a few measures to cost the NDP platform).

“I want to make sure (companies) stay” in B.C., said Halsey-Brandt.

Coun. Day supports Greene

Meanwhile, Richmond-Steveston BC NDP candidate Kelly Greene is hoping a last-minute endorsement by councillor Carol Day can put her over the top in the Liberal-strong riding.

Day, a former school trustee, said Greene has been a voice for waning public education funding.

“She’s willing to stand up for the people. She’s already done it. She’s had the rallies and fought for the children and fought for seismic upgrades. It’s easy to endorse someone who has the same values that you have.”

Day said her main objection to the BC Liberals, as it pertains to Steveston, is the planned introduction of jet fuel, coal and LNG shipments up the Fraser River. 

Day said she is supporting Greene because the NDP has a greater chance of forming government (Day is on a civic slate with provincial Green candidate Michael Wolfe).

Strategic voting could pull Greene much closer to Liberal opponent John Yap than normally expected.

Last election, Day was a BC Conservative candidate in the riding, garnering 2,625 votes, or 11.2 per cent of the popular vote.

If Day’s supporters head to Greene, as she suggests, it leaves a 12.6 percentage point gap (about 3,000 votes) between the NDP and Liberals, based on 2013 results.

Support for Yap has steadily lessened since his first election in 2005, from 13,859 total votes to 12,137 in 2013.

Voter turnout was only 55.4 per cent in 2013.

Day said the more people who turnout the more likely change is to occur.

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