Traffic, Kinder Morgan pipeline are key issues in North Vancouver-Seymour

Each election, the North Shore News asks the candidates in every riding to fill out a questionnaire on local issues. Today, we bring you the responses from North Vancouver-Seymour candidates. Click here to see our grid.

North Vancouver-Seymour, which includes Upper Lonsdale, Carisbrooke, Upper Delbrook, Lynn Valley, Capilano University, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and everything east of the Seymour River to Deep Cove, will be a tough nut to crack for opposition challengers.

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The riding has been held by the B.C. Liberals since 1991 and, with the exception of one NDP term in the 1970s, was a Social Credit stronghold before that.

Liberal incumbent Jane Thornthwaite is seeking her third term, facing New Democrat Michael Charrois, Green Party candidate Joshua Johnson and Libertarian Party leader Clayton Welwood.

Thornthwaite won in 2013 with just under 51 per cent of the popular vote. The NDP’s Jim Hanson came in second with just under 33 per cent – the party’s highest showing in the riding since 1991. The Greens’ Daniel Scott Smith finished with 7.33 per cent. The B.C. Conservative Party’s Brian Wilson and independent candidate Jaime Webbe both failed to crack five per cent.

This time around, Thornthwaite has been door knocking for more than a year in her re-election bid, while the Greens and NDP only nominated candidates in February and March respectively.

With less than two weeks remaining in the campaign, the riding has not drawn any appearances by party leaders since the writ drop unless you count Welwood, who has lived there for the four years, or Elizabeth May, the Green Party of Canada leader, who spoke at the North Shore Winter Club.

map supplied, Elections BC

Population (2014): 58,120
Median age (2011 census): 42.5
English as a second language: 21.53 per cent

The big issues in the riding:

Trans mountain pipeline
It’s a done deal as far as the B.C. Liberals and federal government are concerned, although there are a number of legal actions filed against it by environmental groups and First Nations, including the Tsleil-Waututh Nation as well as a new lawsuit by the Squamish Nation this week.

Thornthwaite has told the North Shore News she feels satisfied the risk of a spill is low and the benefits for B.C. are worthwhile. The NDP and the Green Party are both opposed to the project, although it is not clear if any party has the ability to stop it at this point.

No secret to anyone who’s tried to get around by car after 3 p.m. most weekdays, it’s one of the most traffic congested spots in the region.

Provincial data shows the number of commuters who come to work on the North Shore has gone up by 14 per cent putting us over a tipping point that turns the Cut and the feeder routes to Highway 1 into a parking lot most weekdays. The interchanges at the bottom of the cut are getting $190 million in upgrades, a project led by the incumbent provincial government but also funded by the feds and District of North Vancouver.

It’s an affluent riding by B.C. standards but a shortage of affordable housing and the impending demolition of older, more affordable apartment complexes for redevelopment into condos is a persistent issue at district council.

North Vancouver-Seymour election results (2009 and 2013)


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