New party draws on Richmond's 'Parents' slate'

Two Richmond school board candidates who ran on the “Parents’ Slate” have joined the Richmond executive boards of the new People’s Party of Canada (PPC).

Ivan Pak is the president of the PPC’s Richmond Centre electoral district association (EDA), and Andrea Gong is on the board for the Steveston Richmond-East EDA (neither was elected to the board of education). The PPC broke off from the Conservative Party of Canada last year and is led by Maxime Bernier.

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Angelo Isodorou, regional coordinator for the PPC in the Lower Mainland, said the PPC has attracted a lot of interest in Richmond and it’s an area that the party will focus on.

“Richmond is an area… the party has highlighted,” he said.

Right now, Isodorou said, party volunteers from across the Lower Mainland are helping with the by-election in Burnaby South where Laura-Lynn Thompson is running against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

“It’s all hands on deck for Burnaby South,” Isidorou said.

Thompson helped organize a protest during the time the Richmond school board was considering passing the SOGI policy, a policy to address issues in the school district around sexual orientation and gender identity.

The executives have met a few times in Richmond and, after the Feb. 25 by-election, they will be coming out with candidates.

Isodorou said the party’s goal was to set up EDAs in all 338 ridings across the country by the end of 2018, and this was accomplished by Dec. 20.

Richmond is a diverse area and they are becoming a “big-tent party” attracting people who are interested in policies that make them richer, he explained, like getting rid of the carbon tax or dismantling supply management as well as having stronger immigration policies, getting rid of corporate welfare and lowering taxes.

Bernier is a libertarian conservative, Isidorou said, promoting free markets and laissez-faire policies, but the party has stated they won’t touch issues like abortion and gender identity.

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