Mira Oreck, a Broadbent Institute director who has also worked on the campaigns of Mayor Gregor Robertson, was acclaimed as the NDP candidate for Vancouver Granville on Wednesday, setting the stage for a fight in a new federal riding that sits on territory currently held by all three major parties.
Vancouver Granville encompasses pieces of Vancouver Centre, Vancouver Quadra, Vancouver Kingsway and Vancouver South – ridings held by two Liberals, one New Democrat and one Conservative.
Ms. Oreck will face lawyer and businessman Erinn Broshko, who is running for the Conservatives, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former provincial Crown and regional chief with the B.C. Assembly of First Nations who is running for the Liberals.
"It doesn't have a political identity," Ms. Oreck, who is making her first bid for elected office, said of the central Vancouver riding. "It cuts through every issue that the city is facing – child care, transit, affordability."
Within the past year, Ms. Oreck ruled out entering provincial politics by seeking the seat of veteran MLA Jenny Kwan, who is now running for the federal New Democrats in Vancouver East. However, Ms. Oreck says she decided to run now because she thinks voters are open to a progressive option provided by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
Conservative party officials have suggested they are preparing for an early election call, with some candidates told to be ready as early as this weekend. Regardless of the timing, Ms. Oreck, who also worked on the 2012 campaign of U.S. President Barack Obama, said she plans to hit the campaign trail immediately.
"My experience is that Canadians aren't quite paying attention yet. Many of them are on holiday. We will do our best to reach those that are here," she said. "I will be spending every day campaigning."
The 36-year-old, who was raised in the riding but does not now live in it, also said being an MP would be an extension of her work as public-engagement director of the Broadbent Institute and working on issue-based advocacy.
In a recent interview, Ms. Wilson-Raybould, asked about polls suggesting declining Liberal support, said "campaigns matter" and that she hopes to make her case to voters. She was nominated a year ago and has been "full steam ahead" campaigning since then.