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Monthly Archives: May 2019


B.C. election 2017: Kootenay East riding

In 2013: “Kootenay Bill” Bennett won re-election with more than 60 per cent of the vote. His absence in this campaign will change the dynamic of the riding.

In 2009: Bennett won this riding for a third straight election, defeating NDP candidate Troy Sebastian by over 2,500 votes, 51 per cent to 36 per cent.

HangZhou Night Net

History & Geography: At the southeast edge of the Province, Kootenay East is bordered by Alberta to the east, the United States to the south, the town of Tochty to the west, and Elk Lakes Provincial Park to the north. The largest town in the riding is Cranbrook, but Fernie, Elkford, Sparwood, and Elko are all population centres. This riding has a diverse voting history — Liberal for the last 12 years, it was home to CCP and NDP MLA Leo Nimsick from 1949 to 1975. The area between Fernie and Cranbrook tends to be quite Liberal, while the town centres themselves lean towards the NDP.


BC Liberals -Tom Shypitka: A Cranbrook city councillor and financial adviser. He is a high-level curler, having represented B.C. at the Brier three times.

NDP – Randal Macnair: Has 15 years of political experience, having spent six years as Fernie mayor and nine as city councillor.

Green – Yvonne Prest: A high school french immersion teacher, Prest has spent summers volunteering with CISV: Children International Summer Villages.

Libertarian – Keith D. Komar: The Libertarian party is running 30 candidates, four times as many as in 2013. They have been running candidates in B.C. since 1986, but have never come close to winning a seat.

2017 Stats: Kootenay East

Population (2014): 40,466 (77th)
Population Deviation from Average: -23.8 per cent
Area: 13,210 sq km (19th)
Pop Density: 3.1 (70th)
Average Age: 43 years (32nd)
English as Second Language: 7.75 per cent (86th)

Top 3 Second Languages:
German – 1.57 per cent
Italian – 0.87 per cent
Dutch – 0.40 per cent


B.C. election 2017: Vancouver-Kensington riding

The Vancouver-Kensington riding is typically an NDP riding.

In 2013: NDP Incumbent Mable Elmore handily won re-election, defeating BC Liberal challenger Gabby Kalaw (51 per cent to 38 per cent)
In 2009: NDP candidate Mable Elmore won this riding in her first election, defeating Liberal candidate Syrus Lee by over 2,000 votes, 53 per cent to 41 per cent.

HangZhou Night Net

History & Geography: Created for the 1991 election from parts of three different ridings, Vancouver-Kensington is bordered by Main Street to the west, East 49th Street to the south, Nanaimo to the east, and Kingsway to the north. The riding has elected the NDP candidate in five of the six elections it has been contested, including Ujjal Dosanjh in 1991 and 1996.


BC Liberals – Kim Chan Logan: currently Telus’ Director of BC Government relations, and former (pre-2005) senior advisor to the BC Minister of Health. According to her website, she’s “affectionately known as East Van Chan” whose great-grandfather helped found Chinatown more than a century ago. In March, Chan Logan asked the liberal party to correct about $18,000 dollars in donations listed in her name, saying the money was spent on a Telus corporate credit card.

NDP – Mable Elmore: was elected in 2009, becoming the first MLA of Filipino descent in the B.C. legislature. In 2014, she announced she was seeking the federal NDP nomination for Vancouver East for the 2015 federal election. She ultimately lost the nomination race to Jenny Kwan. Prior to politics, Elmore was a bus driver for Coast Mountain Bus Company.

Greens – Simon Rear: active in the Green party at both the provincial and federal levels, Rear serves as the BC Green party Ombudsperson.

Your Political Party of BC (YPP) – Ramanjit Kaur Dhillon: The YPP is running nine candidates in 2017. Their “open platform” includes a Reddit-based online discussion, and a focus on “open government” and sustainability.

2017 Stats: Vancouver-Kensington

Population (2014): 61,250 (7th)
Population Deviation from Average: 15.3 per cent
Area: 9 sq km (83rd)
Pop Density: 6,805.6 (4th)
Average Age: 40 years (52nd)
English as Second Language: 61.56 per cent (9th)

Top 3 Second Languages:
Cantonese – 18.42 per cent
Chinese, n.o.s. – 10.84 per cent
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) – 7.46 per cent.


B.C.’s low-paying job growth doesn’t figure in Christy Clark’s economic story

Liberal leader Christy Clark laid out her record in a heated leaders’ radio debate last Thursday, alongside BC NDP Leader John Horgan and BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

Christy Clark campaigns on Vancouver Island


Christy Clark campaigns on Vancouver Island


Christy Clark optimistic about U.S. softwood lumber deal


Christy Clark still under fire for hacking scandal


Premier Christy Clark expands on the Liberals jobs plan


Premier Christy Clark’s message to those opposed to Trans Mountain pipeline

“You know what you need to be able to afford a home, you need a good job,” Clark said.

“In British Columbia, take-home pay is going up, 220,000 new jobs, over 90 per cent of them are full-time jobs, and under both of my colleagues, their proposals, British Columbia would go back to where we were in the 1990s when we had the highest unemployment in the country.

“Youth unemployment was higher than anywhere else west of Quebec. British Columbia was struggling.”

HangZhou Night Net

Clark’s claims about job creation check out. So do her claims about today’s unemployment — it is currently the lowest in the country.

But those numbers don’t capture the type of work being done by many British Columbians; part-time or full-time for low pay.

Below-average pay

Below-average pay has grown as a share of employment in every year of Christy Clark’s premiership, going from 56.2 per cent in 2011 to 59.8 per cent in 2016.

This trend was first noted in a CIBC report titled “On the Quality of Employment, Part II.”

READ MORE: If you want to make above average money, B.C. may be your worst bet

In it, CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal looked at employment quality based on compensation for full-time jobs in 100 industry categories.

He found that below-average wage jobs as a share of employment had grown across Canada from 1997 to 2015. The trend was no more apparent anywhere than in B.C., which saw “hardly any growth” among people making more than the average wage, Tal wrote.

B.C.’s below-average work share grew by 1.25 per cent from 2011 to 2016 — it was one of two provinces where it increased while Clark was premier.

Ontario was the other one, at 0.68 per cent.

This chart shows how below-average wage work as a share of employment grew (or declined) in every province from 2011 to 2016:

View link »

Tal said the report covered two decades, and that the rise in below-average pay was “more of a structural story not unique to B.C.,” in an email to Global News.

But B.C.’s numbers nevertheless looked accurate to Helmut Pastrick, chief economist with Central 1 Credit Union.

The trend to below-average pay came as service-producing jobs became more prominent than goods-producing positions, he told Global News.

View link »

That shift is also evident in another statistic – full-time work as a share of total employment.

B.C. had a smaller share of full-time jobs than all other provinces starting in 1998.

It has continued to lag the rest of the country under the BC Liberals, who were first elected in 2001.

READ MORE: GM jobs are just the tip of what Canada has lost to Mexico

One of the reasons for this is that manufacturing and resource jobs have shifted to countries like Brazil, Chile and China, Pastrick said.

B.C. also has a low unionization rate, at 28.9 per cent (Canada’s is 30.3 per cent), he added.

Liberal Leader Christy Clark speaks during a campaign stop at StructureCraft Builders in Delta, B.C., on Monday April 24, 2017.


Mark Thompson, a professor emeritus at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, cited a few more reasons why B.C.’s full-time employment lags other provinces.

“One is the growth of small businesses as a share of the economy, including self-employment, which is frequently part-time,” he told Global News.

He also cited restrictions on full-time employment in the public sector.

READ MORE: TV debate marks show time for B.C. election

Asked to respond to the data, the BC Liberals offered up Shirley Bond, who most recently served as minister of jobs, tourism and skills training.

Bond repeatedly referred to the BC Jobs Plan, and the jobs the province has created since it was implemented in 2011.

Shirley Bond.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

There’s some question as to how much credit the BC Liberals should take for job creation.

Pastrick said governments “often take too much credit and too much blame for economic performance driven by external factors.”

He also noted that the Lower Mainland saw 10.8 per cent employment growth while other regions saw “little or no growth” from 2011 to 2016.

READ MORE: B.C. Election 2017: Jobs and education featured on B.C. campaign trail

Bond said the BC Liberals are tackling that problem through a number of strategies, like boosting the tech sector. She said the party is also working to have companies locate their head offices in B.C.

Global News then asked her why, if the Liberals had been in office since 2002, the number of head offices in B.C. had shrunk in the past 15 years — a fact that Thompson noted.

“We’re working hard to ensure we have the climate and the opportunity that head offices, and that companies will make a decision to bring head offices to B.C.,” Bond responded.

She then referred back, once more, to B.C.’s unemployment and job creation.

“We’ve gone from fourth in terms of unemployment to having the lowest unemployment rate in Canada,” Bond said.

“Those are statistics that are the envy of other provinces across the country.”

Even if more and more people are making below-average money?

“Well I think what British Columbians should take a look at is which party is going to work to ensure that we get to yes,” she said.

“That’s exactly what our jobs plan and our premier is committed to.”


B.C. election 2017: Kelowna West riding

Kelowna West: Formerly Westside Kelowna.

In the 2013 by-election Christy Clark beat her NDP challenger by a huge margin (62 per cent-30 per cent) after Ben Stewart, who won in the 2013 election, stepped aside so the premier could run.

In 2009: Ben Stewart won this riding for the Liberals, defeating NDP candidate Tish Lakes by nearly 5,000 votes, 53-29 per cent.

HangZhou Night Net

History & Geography: Created for the 2001 election as Westside-Okanagan, this riding encompasses downtown Kelowna and the surrounding area, along with the adjacent municipality of Westside. It also spans northward to get the homes on the west side of Okanagan Lake. The riding has never voted for an NDP candidate, although areas in Kelowna proper have supported the NDP in the past.


Liberals – Christy Clark: Premier of B.C., Clark was first elected to the legislature in 1996. She was Minister of Education in the Liberal government from 2001 to 2004, but resigned before the 2005 election to spend more time with her family. She then became host of The Christy Clark Show on CKNW before re-entering politics. She was elected Liberal party leader in 2011, becoming the province’s second female premier.

NDP – Shelley Cook: A PhD candidate in Community, Culture and Global Studies at UBC Okanagan. Currently also leading two research studies on homelessness in Kelowna. Cook served as the executive director of the local John Howard Society for 11 years.

Greens – Robert Mellalieu: Owner/operator of a small computer support business in West Kelowna and community volunteer, he has served on a number of community associations and boards.

Independent   – Brian Thiesen: An entrepreneur, Thiesen is registered as an independent, but also also listed as a candidate on the BC First Party’s website.

2017 Stats: Kelowna West

Population (2014): 59,750 (21st)
Population Deviation from Average: 12.5 per cent
Area: 1,142 sq km (34th)
Pop Density: 52.3 (55th)
Average Age: 44.1 years (26th)
English as Second Language: 12.31 per cent (58th)

Top 3 Second Languages:
German – 3.47 per cent
Dutch – 0.71 per cent
Hungarian – 0.48 per cent


B.C. election 2017: Cariboo North riding

The absence of Bob Simpson’s candidacy as an independent this time around changes the dynamic in a significant way. He finished second in 2013, garnering 5.264 votes (37.2 per cent). Which party will those voters turn to now is a key question.

In 2013: BC Liberal Coralee Oakes narrowly won this riding from the Independent incumbent Bob Simpson.

In 2009: NDP MLA Bob Simpson, won his second straight close election over a Liberal candidate, defeating Bruce Ernst by 503 votes, 50-46 per cent. Simpson later left the party to sit and run as an Independent.

HangZhou Night Net

History & Geography: Centred around Highway 97 between Williams Lake and Prince George, Cariboo North spans from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east. The centre of the old Cariboo riding that the Social Credit party won every election between 1956 and 1991. The riding has voted NDP in three of the last five elections, with most of their support coming from Quesnel and First Nations reserves.


BC Liberals’ Coralee Oakes: Minister of Small Business, Red-Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, you’ve seen her at any of the innumerable Friday events trumpeting the province’s ‘modernization’ of liquor rules.

A Quesnel councillor from 2005-2011, her family has lived in the Quesnel area for four generations.

NDP’s Scott Elliott is a two-term Quesnel City Councillor, Government Liquor store employee and fly-fishing guide.

Richard Jaques with the Greens is a First Nations candidate. Jaques spent years in First Nations policing.

In 2002, Jaques was a founding member of the Sacred Wolf Native Friendship Centre in Port Hardy. He is currently completing his Teacher Certification through UBC.

BC Conservatives – Tony Goulet: The BC. Conservatives are a mere shadow of the party from the 2013 campaign, when they fielded 56 candidates. In 2017 there are five. It’s a small-government, right-of-centre party.

2017 Stats: Cariboo North

Population (2014): 29,542 (83rd)
Population Deviation from Average: -44.4 per cent
Area: 38,579 sq km (7th)
Pop Density: 0.8 (82nd)
Average Age: 44.4 years (23rd)
English as Second Language: 8.21 per cent (84th)

Top 3 Second Languages:
German – 1.92 per cent
Panjabi (Punjabi) – 1.32 per cent
Dutch – 0.38 per cent