Lois Boone

Central Interior ridings can go orange: Layton

In what was believed to be the first election-time visit by a federal party leader in almost two decades, Jack Layton breezed into Prince George on Wednesday hoping to create a strong updraft for his two local candidates.

  • Apr. 7, 2011 4:00 p.m.

In what was believed to be the first election-time visit by a federal party leader in almost two decades, Jack Layton breezed into Prince George on Wednesday hoping to create a strong updraft for his two local candidates.

New Democrats finished second to the Conservatives in the 2008 election in both the Prince George-Peace River and Cariboo-Prince George ridings. But the big, orange machine now has new candidates in both areas and won’t have to face the Tory incumbent in one of them.

Layton suggested the Conservatives “are out of touch” and the ridings are ripe for the NDP’s picking.

Former MLA Lois Boone is now flying the party’s colours federally in Prince George-Peace River, where long-time Conservative incumbent Jay Hill has retired and will be replaced on the ballot by Bob Zimmer. And in Cariboo-Prince George, 22-year-old student Jon Van Barneveld will take on another veteran Tory, incumbent Dick Harris

According to Layton, however, the Conservatives “have taken British Columbia, and certainly northern British Columbia, for granted for years.

“People have lost jobs, mills have shut down, (and) they just wave their hands and say, ‘Oh, we’re creating jobs all over the place.’ Well, tell that to the people that are out of work or used to have a good, middle-class lifestyle and can’t afford to live here anymore.”

The NDP leader said he now has the right candidates in place to change that.

“We have here a former deputy premier of the province, a highly respected person in the community,” Layton said of Boone, “and Jon is one of the next generation of leaders here in this country.”

Boone, who was of the understanding that Layton was the first election-time leader of any stripe to visit since the NDP’s Audrey McLaughlin in 1993, said Layton’s stop here “pumped everybody up.”

“I think it gives all of our volunteers a reason to work even harder, and I’m exceedingly happy with the announcement he made here … It just hits on a lot of the problems I’m hearing from people when I’m on the doorstep.”

Van Barneveld, meanwhile, appeared nervous as Layton thrust him in front of the dozens of supporters and a national media horde, but the UNBC forestry student claimed otherwise:

“I live and breathe this stuff.”

 

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Community paramedic to teach free CPR lessons Sunday

Local event includes ambulance and fire truck tours, fire extinguisher lessons

Local runners get personal bests at Kelowna half marathon

Brian Nemethy on the dedication of one local runner

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read