North Shore Liberals choose candidates

Former mayor, tech exec to face Tory incumbents in next election

North Vancouver and West Vancouver's Liberals have selected their challengers for the 2015 federal election.

Former West Vancouver mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones and green tech CEO Jonathan Wilkinson both soundly won the nominations in their respective ridings at candidate selection meetings over the last week.

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Goldsmith-Jones said she's been drawn back into politics after hearing a lot of local dissatisfaction with the ruling Conservatives.

"(The) federal government that we have isn't honouring freedom of speech, transparency, accountability, basing public policy on evidence and science rather than ideology," she said. "I think we have the responsibility to put things on a different course "I think a lot of these questions are directly relevant to the future that we seek for this riding. I really think our community has an opportunity to influence the country for the better."

Goldsmith-Jones attended the Liberal Party convention in Montreal earlier this year to test the waters and later met with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau during a visit to Vancouver before deciding to run.

While she is proud of her record of being non-partisan in municipal politics, Goldsmith-Jones said she has roots in the Liberal party dating back to her high school years. "My dad drove off the road when I had a Liberal sign on the front lawn of our house because he was a Conservative," Goldsmith-Jones said with a laugh.

Wilkinson, meanwhile, is entering politics for the first time as a Rhodes scholar with masters' degrees in international relations, politics and economics and a career in constitutional and federal-provincial relations, before spending the last 20 years in the private sector, mainly in clean technology firms.

"I've just become fairly disillusioned with the current government. I think we really do need a change. I think this government is very dissonant with the way in which we've done politics in Canada, not just policy-wise but the tone of politics and the way we think about the political process," he said "If you're a critic and you want to do something about it, you have to get involved."

Wilkinson said he plans on running on a message that Canada doesn't have to choose between having a strong economy and a clean environment. "How do you marry economic development and environmental issues? I think that's quite topical in B.C. given a lot of the resource development discussion going on."

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