Wrestling the Interior away from the Conservatives

Can the Prince George-area ridings be wrestled away from the Conservatives?

Bill Phillips

Prince George Free Press

Can the Prince George-area ridings be wrestled away from the Conservatives?

That’s the real issue here as both the Cariboo-Prince George and Prince George-Peace River are the Conservatives’ to lose.  However, if there ever was a time to pull an upset in these two Conservative strongholds, this could be it.

With Jay Hill stepping down as MP in Prince George-Peace River it makes the race in that riding very interesting. I wouldn’t say his retiring puts the riding up for grabs, but it was a lock for the Conservatives as long as Hill was there. On his way out the door, Hill dropped a couple of lock-picks.

It all depends on what the opposition can put forward. For the NDP, Lois Boone is as good a candidate as any. She’s well known. She is no stranger to politics, having served as cabinet minister in the provincial NDP government. She knows how to campaign and she knows how to politic.

Conservative candidate Bob Zimmer is also no stranger to politics, having been involved in the Reform/Alliance/Conservative parties since their inceptions. However, this is the first time he’s been on the public side of the campaign … as a candidate. In that regard, he is a rookie. In Boone, he’ll be going up against a veteran.

Boone, who’s been itching for a byelection since last fall, does have the jump on him campaign-wise as she’s been touring the riding for months now.

However, it does depend on the wild card … Liberal Ben Levine. The Liberals, in these two ridings at least, have always been Johnny-come-latelies. Even though everyone in the country knew an election was coming, Levine was only named as a candidate on Sunday.

Levine is also a political newcomer.

As with many ridings, if Boone and Levine campaign well they will steal votes from each other and Zimmer will win in a walk. Hilary Crowley is carrying the Green Party banner again and votes she gets will also be at the expense of the Liberals and NDP.

Which brings us to Cariboo-Prince George. Some felt Dick Harris was prime to be knocked off last time. It’s a couple of years later and he hasn’t done much to win more votes (but he got plenty last time), nor has he stumbled. It will be more of the same if Harris is re-elected.

Is it possible to unseat him?

It could be if either the NDP or Liberals put a good candidate up against him. They haven’t. Five days into a very, very short election campaign and neither the Liberals nor the NDP have yet to get a candidate in place. Once again, everyone knew an election was coming, they should have been getting candidates in place.

The Greens have put forward Heidi Redl, who is also a political newcomer and give Harris credit … he knows how to compaign.

It will depend on who comes out of the woodwork to challenge Harris as to whether the riding is ‘in play.’

The probability of Harris being re-elected is already high and with every passing day it gets even higher.

Bill Phillips is the editor of the Prince George Free Press and the regional editor for Black Press North.

 

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read