While Harrison Hot Springs' sign bylaw allows signs to be put up when an election is called

Federal election campaign off to slow start locally

NDP and Conservative candidates now chosen for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Riding

While the federal election was called nearly three weeks ago, things are off to a slow start locally.

For one thing, there was a noticeable lack of signage in Agassiz. The District of Kent’s sign bylaw prohibits election signage to be posted for more than 30 days prior to an election. However, at Monday evening’s Council meeting, that limitation was reluctantly extended an additional 30 days.

Murray Hardie, president of the Liberal party electoral district association for the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, wrote a letter requesting the extension.

“This will be in the longest federal election period in recent political memory and is in excess of twice the duration of previous federal campaigns,” writes Hardy. “Therefore, we request to extend the allowable period a political sign can be displayed in the District of Kent by some 30 days to commence on or near August 20, 2015 and end after polls close on October 19, 2015.”

When asked to move the motion, there was a noticeable pause in the room. Mayor John Van Laerhoven asserted that the District “should” make the change as other municipalities do allow election signs to be posted once an election is called.

The sign bylaw in the Village of Harrison Hot Springs permits election signs permitted during the election period, though there are limitations on where they can be erected.

Councillor Sylvia Pranger said, “I would move we waive for just this particular election,” allowing election signs on display for an additional 30 days. All voted in favour of the motion.

The District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs are part of the newly formed Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding, which includes parts of Abbotsford, all of Mission and up the Fraser Canyon including Lillooet and Ashcroft.

As party leaders parry and thrust their way across the country, locally, not all candidates were even chosen until recently. Now, the ballot is filling up. On Sunday, the NDP announced their candidate for the Mission-Masqui-Fraser Canyon riding. Dennis Adamson, the director for Electoral Area B for the Fraser Valley Regional District, won the nomination, according to an NDP spokesman.

Adamson beat out Kevin Whitney, the chief of the T’it’q’et First Nation near Lillooet.

Last week, the Conservative party announced their new candidate for the riding. Brad Vis was previously the communications and forward planning advisor to Abbotsford MP Ed Fast. He left that job to return to Abbotsford, where he had been working on agri-business development as an associate for Corpus Management Group.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to run as the Conservative candidate in the new riding,” Vis wrote in a press release.

Vis’s nomination comes nearly three weeks after it was announced that the party’s previous candidate for the riding, Liv Grewal, had been forced to withdraw from the race though no explanation was provided by the Conservative Party of Canada.

It’s not just the big three running candidates in this riding. Arthur Green is running on behalf of the Green Party and Wyatt Scott is running as an independent.

Scott became an internet sensation recently when his campaign video went viral. Soaring through the air on a giant Canada goose and shooting laser beams from his eyes are some of the scenes in Scott’s bizarre video. He slays a dragon using a giant sword before briefly listing a few of his campaign points, including high university costs, expanded health care and social programs and rights for indigenous people.

“Change is coming to Canada and I’m here to lead that change. Are you ready for the shift,” he asks.

The video, full of special effects and incongruous images, was published June 13 but drew attention last week on social media. It has had comments ranging from “Considering moving west just to give you my vote’, to “Totally Epic. You have my vote!”

To see the video, go to youtube.com and search ‘WyattScott_MMFC’.