Liberal party members in Terrace and Prince Rupert have chosen Rupert resident Gordon Stamp-Vincent as the Liberal candidate in Skeena-Bulkely-Valley inthe Jan. 23 federal election.
Mr. Stamp-Vincent, a mortgage broker who works for CIBC, won the nomination Sunday night. He beat out one other candidate, oil and gas promoter and constituency association president Dave McGuigan.
“I’m very excited and just raring to get going,” Mr. Stamp-Vincent told the Observer Monday (Dec. 5).
Winning the nomination was his first taste of political life. He only joined the Liberal party in August, and began thinking about running as a candidate five or six weeks ago.
“I don’t know whether it was a moment of insanity,” he said with a laugh.
He was attracted to the Liberal party for one reason: Paul Martin’s financial record.
“I used to be a Reformer,” he said, mainly due to concern about the country’s deficit. “I’m a fiscal conservativeÂ… The key with all that is Mr. Martin has provided eight years of surplus budgets.”
One of the big issues in this riding, he said, is leadership and planning. Potential prosperity is coming through big projects like the Rupert container port and the pipeline terminal in Kitimat, yet he sees no plan in place for creating more jobs or making sure that everyone shares in the benefits.
“The MP is in a perfect position to drive this,” he said. “But I’ve talked to the economic development people and the MP hasn’t been in touch.”
Aboriginal issues are also a big concern. Mr. Stamp-Vincent said Canada currently has one of its lowest-ever unemployment rates – but aboriginal communities aren’t sharing in this trend. The MP has a large role to play, he said, in finding out what First Nations communities want and helping them achieve it.
The new candidate has deep roots on the north coast. His grandparents were married in Prince Rupert in 1912, which he didn’t know until he moved there five years ago. He was born in Ocean Falls, and lived in Queen Charlotte for a couple of years in the mid-1980s, working for CIBC. Before moving to Rupert in 2000, he worked in Penticton for many years. He also travelled to the Charlottes regularly in his recent job as investment advisor for the Northern Savings Credit Union. He now works for CIBC again in Rupert.
Although the Liberals placed a distant third in this riding in 2004, and haven’t elected an MP here since the 1970s, Mr. Stamp-Vincent said he believes he does have a chance of winning.
“I think it’s very realistic, otherwise I wouldn’t be in it,” he said. “I’m looking at number one.”
Mr. Stamp-Vincent said he will be campaigning all over the huge riding, and definitely plans to come to the Charlottes.
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