Challenger emerges for Liberal nomination in Parksville-Qualicum

Patrick Chenier, Michelle Stilwell the only declared candidates

Patrick Chenier says he knows he has a tough hill to climb, but he is ready for the challenge.

Chenier announced this week he will seek the B.C. Liberal nomination for the riding of Parksville-Qualicum. Current MLA Ron Cantelon announced recently he would not be seeking a third term in the legislature and The NEWS broke the story last week that Paralympics champion Michelle Stilwell is seeking the nomination. The local B.C. Liberals will hold their nomination meeting Jan. 8 in Parksville.

Chenier lives in the Errington area with his wife Niki Stanford. They have two adult children and one grandchild. He said he knows he has a tough battle ahead against Stilwell.

“There is a challenge around name recognition, I don’t deny that,” said Chenier, who has a masters degree in education but has worked in the financial services industry, most recently in Parksville with Edward Jones. “But I do have a strong background and experience in municipal, provincial and federal politics.”

Chenier ran for council in Saanich in 2008. He finished 10th of 11 candidates. Eight were elected to council. He also ran for the same position in 2005 and finished 15th in a field of 17.

“I was unsuccessful but I gave it a good run,” he said. “It was a rewarding experience.”

Chenier has lived in this riding for about two-and-a-half years. He said he joined the B.C. Liberal Party three weeks ago.

“I haven’t actually been involved locally with the B.C. Liberals,” he said. “This would allow me to give back to the community I love and make a difference.”

He was asked if there are any local issues that should be in the forefront in either nomination race or the May 2013 election but he declined to address specifics: “I don’t want to be aligning myself to one issue.”

Chenier said he believes Cantelon has done a good job representing Parksville-Qualicum these past two terms.

“It would be quite an honour, if I’m successful, to follow in his footsteps.”


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