The BC Liberal Party has nominated former Vancouver city councillor and parks board commissioner Suzanne Anton as its candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview.
The party made the announcement on Tuesday, three weeks after Ms. Anton lost her first bid for a nomination to lawyer Andrew Wilkinson in the riding of Vancouver-Quilchena.
Speaking with The Globe and Mail, the Kerrisdale resident said her connection with Fraserview is bolstered by a number of initiatives and investments she supported during her nine years at the park board and on city council, including the Killarney Arena, the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and the River District development.
“I was the only councillor who lived on the south side of the city, so I did always pay more attention to the neighbourhoods in the south of Vancouver,” she said.
Issues of note specific to Fraserview include improved connectivity to the rest of the city, chiefly through improved bus service, and “the long-standing promise by people of different political stripes to get a seniors’ centre,” said Ms. Anton, who is also a former Crown prosecutor.
She credited the BC Liberals with what is projected to be a balanced budget and a plan for growing the economy – a common message among recently nominated Liberal candidates.
Herb Dhaliwal, who represented the Fraserview area at the federal level for 11 years, will serve as honourary chair of her campaign.
“Suzanne is a hard worker and she is committed to public service,” Mr. Dhaliwal said in a news release. “She will fight hard to protect the economic future of our province for the families of Vancouver-Fraserview.”
Ms. Anton will replace current Liberal MLA Kash Heed, who will not be running in the May 14 election, and will face NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu, an outspoken journalist and political commentator. Mr. Yiu lost to Mr. Heed by 748 votes in the 2009 general election.
Ms. Anton served as a parks board commissioner from 2002 to 2005 and an NPA city councillor from 2005 to 2011. That year, she ran as a mayoral candidate in the civic election, losing to incumbent Gregor Robertson by nearly 20,000 votes.
On the eve of that election, Ms. Anton and other members of the NPA campaigned at City Hall, bringing with them a person dressed in a chicken suit, wheat and signs reading “Chickens for Gregor” and “Please stay off the wheat!” – jabs at Mr. Robertson’s green initiatives. The stunt capped off a strategically negative campaign.
This time around, Ms. Anton maintains her campaign will be “positive and fun.”
“I want to see British Columbians move forward economically. I want to have a balanced budget. I want to have prosperity for families,” she said.
The BC Liberal Party has so far nominated 68 candidates, with two contested candidate selection meetings scheduled for the next two weeks, said party spokesman Sam Oliphant.