Former Olympian claims nomination
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Last Sunday, the BCNDP members of the Douglas David Lam campus’ host riding, Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, voted Chris Wilson, former Olympic wrestler and executive director of KidSport Tri-Cities, as the official opposition candidate for the May 14 provincial election. Wilson, who received pivotal nods from Port Coquitlam NDP MLA Mike Farnworth and NDP fixture New Westminster-Coquitlam MLA Fin Donnelly, took the vote in the first round with more than 50 per cent of the votes. Joe Keithley, who recently took to the road for the D.O.A. farewell tour, came in second place, with Coquitlam city councilor Barrie Lynch in third and Vincent Wu in last.
Wilson was keen to talk to The Other Press after being announced as candidate, touting an effort to try and build a strong student support.
“One of the big reasons I decided to enter politics is because [this] generation of young people are going to be in a lot of trouble. We need them to get involved in politics, we need to them out to vote because there are going to be so many issues that that generation is going to have to deal with—pension deficits, pension liabilities, our federal debt, our provincial debt,” said Wilson.
“A lot of politicians think these people don’t vote, so we’re not going to lose votes if we don’t help them. I want to do everything I can to get young people out to vote.”
Over 300 party constituents voted in the nomination meeting, just less than half of the total BCNDP members in the riding and 0.02 per cent of the riding’s total population.
The four candidates made phone calls to close supporters on the days before the election and on the morning of in a final effort to turn their own recruits into nomination votes. In the campaign period from last August to March, Coquitlam-Burke Mountain’s NDP membership more than sextupled from its initial 80-member base.
Before the polls opened, the four candidates had one last chance to speak to constituents and supporters, highlighting main points on the campaign trail.
Guest speaker, Joe Trasolini, Coquitlam-Port Moody MLA, victor of the 2011 by-election spoke with his characteristic fervor, enthused by the sunny day’s turnout. Trasolini encouraged meeting attendees to continue to support whichever candidate pulled through the polls.
“Regardless who wins today, I want each one of you to be involved. Speak with your friends, motivate members of your family! You can make it happen in this riding—there’s no safe riding in this province,” said Trasolini.
Shortly after Trasolini’s speech, it was announced that a car was doubled-parked. One attendee joked that the car was Douglas Horne’s, BC Liberal incumbent MLA for the riding.
“Doug Horne, the sitting MLA should be shaking in his shoes,” Trasolini exclaimed, receiving a chorus of applause.