Although the candidates have been throwing their views forward for over a month, the real election campaigning season officially started Tuesday.
This means that, among other regulations, candidates can spend up to $73,000 on their campaigns from now on, and third-party advertisers, such as the B.C. Teachers Federation, are capped at spending $3,140 in one riding.
The dropping of the writ also means that local candidates are officially, and tensely, off to the races.
Chilliwack-Hope incumbent MLA Gwen O’Mahony, representing the NDP party, will have to defend her position against B.C. Liberal Laurie Throness, who lost out to her in last year’s byelection, and against B.C. Conservative Michael Henshall, who worked to remove the HST.
Here are each of the candidates’ best two cents on why your vote should be theirs.
O’Mahony (NDP): “They had a unique opportunity to see me in action as an MLA over this past year, and I think I’ve proven myself to be a hard worker, a compassionate listener, and a doer, not a talker…
There was a lot of fear-mongering before I got elected… And I think people woke up the next day to a New Democrat representative who works really hard.”
Throness (Liberal): “I believe I’m the best choice for MLA because I mirror the values of Chilliwack-Hope, because I have the experience, training and skills to do an effective job in representing the people of the riding, and because I’m part of a free-enterprise coalition that alone can stop the NDP, and continue to manage B.C.’s economy well.”
Henshall (Conservative): “We’ve had 20 years of NDP and Liberal fiscal mismanagement and it’s time to bring back honesty, integrity and transparency in the legislature. That’s something only a B.C. Conservative plan can provide.”
B.C. residents have until next Tuesday, April 23, to register online to vote in the May 14 election.
Those who miss the deadline can still vote, but will have to bring sufficient identification to the voting booth.