As of Sept. 23, there were six candidates confirmed for the federal election in Chilliwack-Hope. Clockwise from top left, incumbent Conservative Mark Strahl, Liberal Kelly Velonis, NDP Heather McQuillan, Marxist-Leninist Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell, People’s Party Rob Bogunovic, and Green Party Arthur Green.

Chilliwack-Hope election rundown

Who are the candidates? Where can you meet them?

With election day less than a month away, there are six local candidates in place, and a number of meetings scheduled where Chilliwack-Hope voters can meet those candidates.

A brief look at the six scheduled to be on the ballot, at least as of Sept. 23:

Mark Strahl

The Conservative incumbent won the riding in 2015 and before that in 2011 when it was Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, and geographically much larger.

Most pollsters call this a “safe” riding for the Conservatives, although in 2015 it was a close as it’s ever been with the Liberals finishing second.

Kelly Velonis

This new Liberal candidate fills big shoes in Louis De Jaeger who took 34 per cent of the vote behind Strahl’s 42 per cent in 2015.

Velonis, who went by Janveux at the time, ran unsuccessfully for the Chilliwack Board of Education in the 2018 municipal election. She has worked managing programs for at-risk youth for YMCA of Greater Vancouver. Most recently, she has worked as the executive director for the Chilliwack & District Seniors Resource Society.

Heather McQuillan

An unknown locally, this Vancouver resident is the NDP’s parachute candidate for the riding. She works in the film industry and her husband is the NDP’s candidate for Vancouver South.

Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell

A perennial federal candidate for whatever riding Chilliwack has appeared in, O’Donnell, a local lawyer, is in her sixth election running for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, having never received even one per cent of the vote.

Robert Bogunovic

A Chilliwack secondary school teacher, Bogunovic is the Chilliwack-Hope candidate for the upstart People’s Party of Canada headed by Maxime Bernier who is planning to field candidates in every riding in the country.

Arthur Green

This aptly-named candidate for the Green party is running Chilliwack-Hope, having previously run for the party federally in the riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

Meetings:

• The first scheduled meeting for the candidates is a Chilliwack Healthier Community gathering at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at CSS on Sept. 24 from 9 to 11 a.m.

• On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the candidates are invited to the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Improvement Association jointly hosting an all-candidates’ forum, starting at 6 p.m. in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Corbould Street.

• The third event, not open to the general public, is The Rotary Club of Chilliwack Fraser hosting its All-Candidates Debate for the federal election on Oct. 2 at their noon luncheon meeting at the Sure-Stay Hotel By Best Western.

• Then on Oct. 3 from 1 to 3 p.m., the Chilliwack Child & Youth Committee is hosting an event at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at Chilliwack secondary school.

• On Oct. 9 in the evening it’s back to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre for an all-candidates meeting hosted by the Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society.

In between that, a number of schools are hosting meetings where candidates are invited, and some schools are taking part in the Student Vote Canada mock election program.

• Election day is Oct. 21.

• RELATED: A brief look at the present and past of Chilliwack federal elections


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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