The Green Party of Canada has chosen Vancouver resident Francoise Raunet to run in Richmond Centre in the fall federal election.
So far, she will be running against incumbent Alice Wong, the current Conservative member of Parliament who is planning to run for re-election and Ivan Pak, the People’s Party of Canada candidate, in the federal election scheduled for Oct. 21.
The Richmond Centre NDP riding association is planning a nomination meeting for early August to choose a candidate, according to the association’s president Colleen Glynn.
Raunet said she’s familiar with housing and farming issues in Richmond, but she plans over the next few weeks to get to know the issues that are pressing for Richmond residents for this coming federal election.
She said, when she has run in the past municipally and provincially, the issues have tended to be the same, but different levels of government bear different degrees of responsibility for these problems. But, she added, her main concern is the “unsustainability of our current economic model.”
“I think a lot of the problems that we’re facing in the 21st century, like income inequality, obviously environmental degradation, the erosion of democracy, I think they’re very much tied up in this model that puts profits before people,” she said. Part of this is because of the “inordinate degree of influence” by corporations, she added.
Raunet said she’d like to see municipalities have more local decision-making power. This would be achieved by more direct transfers of funding to municipalities to decide themselves how it would be spent, instead of the federal government funding certain programs.
“Power needs to be devolved back to municipalities - I think there needs to be a lot more on-the-ground decision making around the resources that people are living with,” she said.
Raunet, who is a French immersion teacher, lived in Taiwan for five years and speaks conversational Mandarin.
While Richmond Centre tends to be more conservative-leaning and there doesn’t traditionally tend to be much Green Party support, Raunet said she finds Chinese people very concerned about environmental issues.
After no one stepped up to run in Richmond Centre, Raunet, who has run in various elections already as a Green candidate and as an independent in Vancouver, was approached to accept the nomination for Richmond Centre.
Raunet ran municipally in Vancouver 2018 as an independent and twice provincially in the riding of Vancouver-Pt. Grey against Christy Clark and David Eby.
She also sought the nomination for Vancouver Quadra for the upcoming fall election, but she wasn’t selected.
Both Richmond incumbent MPs, Liberal Joe Peschisolido in Steveston-Richmond East, and Wong plan to run again in the fall election.
In Steveston-Richmond East, Conservative Party of Canada candidate Kenny Chiu will be challenging incumbent MP Joe Peschisolido.
Richmond Coun. Michael Wolfe, who is CEO of the Electoral District Association (EDA) in Richmond Centre and is helping organize in the Steveston-Richmond East riding as well, said they are currently looking for candidates to run in the October federal election.