For those who pay close attention to provincial politics, it may feel like an election has been underway for weeks already.
For those who don’t, well, the writ was dropped on Tuesday and we are off for real.
The 41st British Columbia general election is scheduled for May 9. There are some changes to the local electoral districts, but ones that make only minor differences for Chilliwack residents.
The biggest change is that the riding of Chilliwack-Hope is now called Chilliwack-Kent and reduces in size from nearly 11,000 square kilometres to roughly 3,200 square kilometres eliminating Hope, the Fraser Canyon and a huge swath of land north of Harrison Lake.
There is a change in the city as a small chunk of Sardis moves from Chilliwack to Chilliwack-Kent Specifically, the Sardis Park area, including every home bounded by Vedder Road to the west, Prest Road to the east, Bailey Road to the south, and Highway 1 to the north, which was in the Chilliwack riding, is now in Chilliwack-Kent.
Running in the election on May 9 in Chilliwack is the incumbent BC Liberal candidate John Martin, NDP candidate Tracey O’Hara and Green Party candidate Wayne Froese.
In Chilliwack-Kent, it’s incumbent BC Liberal candidate Laurie Throness, NDP candidate Patti MacAhonic and Green Party candidate Josie Bleuer.
As of Monday, neither Froese nor Bleuer were officially named as candidates by Elections BC, but they have until April 18 at 1 p.m. to be confirmed. Both said they planned to have their candidacy approvals in place this week.
For more information on how to register, when and where to vote, and to see maps of the ridings visit www.theprogress.com and also www.elections.bc.ca.
As for a chance to meet the candidates, there are a number of public all-candidates meetings scheduled:
April 19 – Public all-candidates meeting hosted by the Chilliwack Child and Youth Committee at Chilliwack Secondary School (CSS) from 10 a.m. to noon
April 25 – Public meeting hosted by Chilliwack Healthier Community at 9 a.m. also at CSS
April 27 – Public meeting hosted by the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce at 12:20 p.m. at the Best Western.
April 29 – Public meeting for Chilliwack-Kent candidates hosted by the Cultus Lake Community Association at 10:30 a.m. in the gym at the Cultus Lake Community School.
May 2 – Public meeting for Chilliwack-Kent candidates hosted by the Chilliwack Arts & Cultural Centre Society at 7 p.m. at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.