Your Candidate In Penticton, Your Voice In BC
Fourth candidate vying for Penticton riding John Moorhouse
The B.C. Conservative Party has entered the provincial election fray in the Penticton riding.
Chris Delaney, former leader of the now-defunct B.C. Unity Party, is the riding’s fourth candidate. Nominations for the May 12 election close April 26.
Delaney said Wednesday he was convinced to run in the Penticton riding after being invited to a March 31 Conservative meeting.
Some 30 party supporters showed up and donated $1,500 to the party. A campaign team was later organized and Delaney agreed to run. The Port Coquitlam businessman said he is familiar with the Penticton area, having come here on summer vacation for the past 18 years.
Delaney becomes the second B.C. Conservative candidate in the South Okanagan. Joe Cardoso switched to the Tories after being ousted as the B.C. Liberal candidate in Boundary-Similkameen.
Delaney said the controversy over the move has buoyed support for the Conservatives in this area.
“I knocked on a variety of doors – all kinds of different people -- and to a person they said: ’Finally we‘ve got an alternative. There‘s no way I‘m voting Liberal again, but there‘s no way I‘m voting NDP.‘”
Delaney said he would have stayed out of politics if it were not for the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act, unveiled last month by Premier Gordon Campbell. Introduction of the Act in the Legislature has been postponed until after the May 12 election.
It would create some 30 native jurisdictions instead of more than 200 individual bands throughout the province, while recognizing aboriginal title and rights. The bill would also give First Nations the right to make decisions and share in forestry, mining and other revenues that are currently go to the Crown from their traditional land.
Delaney fears the act could drive business away from B.C. and result in a series of lawsuits from companies who might be thwarted by aboriginal vetoes.
“The cure is worse than the disease. You‘re going to send everybody out of the province,” he said.
Delaney claimed many Liberal Party caucus members and supporters were caught off-guard by the bill, but are remaining silent until after the election.
Delaney realizes his chances of winning the Penticton riding are slim, but said his candidacy allows the party to provide a right-wing alternative and to raise the alarm over the Reconciliation Act.
He entered political life in 1998 when he served as communications director for former premier Bill Vander Zalm, before going on to head the Unity Party in 2001.
Delaney noted the Conservative Party hopes to run from 20 to 30 candidates (out of 85 ridings) in the coming election. Ideally, he said, they would elect five or six Conservative MLAs. The party is led by Wilf Hanni of Cranbrook.
Chris Delaney Campaign Headquarters
2210 Main Street
Agent: Elevena Slump
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