Liberal candidate faces a big job

With rumors of a possible federal election in the spring continuing to surface, local Liberals are getting close to finding a candidate to run in Nanaimo-Alberni. Liberal riding association president Bill Stewart said a potential candidate has come forward to run and is in the final stages of the party’s vetting process. “We are eyelashes away from having a candidate,” he said. “The green light committee has to look at the background of the person, but, barring anything unforeseen, we will have someone to take to the membership as a candidate in a couple of weeks.” Stewart conceded their last candidate floundered badly, dropping from the previous election’s 20 per cent support to only nine per cent, but he said the new candidate, if approved, will do better — and maybe even go over the top. “The Tories have wounded themselves, particularly with progressive conservatives, that some of them will stay home and some of them will come to us,” Stewart said. “If we have a decent candidate — and this time I think we will — I think we can take a strong run at it.” If a spring election is called, Stewart said he hopes the candidate will be able to raise a number of issues during the campaign, including the proposed purchase of new fighter jets, care for the elderly, the costs of the Conservatives’ plan to crack down on crime and build more jails and the continuing spectre of global warming. “I think a person would need to have his head in the sand to think climate change isn’t happening,” he said. “It needs to be back on the table.” Stewart said the Conservative government, despite its minority status, has changed Canada — and not for the better. “It’s stunning that these guys are still at 40 per cent in the polls,” he said. “Shouldn’t people be embarrassed?”

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