With polls showing a tight race, Burnaby North is the very tip of this knife’s edge election. The riding is a must win riding for the NDP hoping to take government, and a frontline battleground for the BC Liberals hoping to keep it.
The BC Liberals have kept Burnaby North since 2001. The NDP consistently lost it to the Liberals three times since then, but each time by under 1,000 votes.
But the NDP’s Janet Routledge is having another crack at it. This time around it comes with a challenge from the Greens as well and a potential split in the anti-incumbent vote. Routledge says the Greens can’t expect anti-pipeline sentiment to go their way.
“I am the only who has actively participated in opposing the Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion, and we are rallying around that. The BC NDP has committed that we will stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.”
BC Liberal incumbent Richard Lee says he’s not worried that he’s in a party that supports the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in a riding where opposition against it is among the strongest in B.C.
And Lee admits voters are concerned about it.
“But we have also attached 37 additional environmental conditions with this approval,”
Those conditions on top of the 157 conditions laid down by the federal government
Meanwhile the Greens are hoping they can take advantage of what they see as the growing apathy with the major parties. But their candidate in Burnaby North, Peter Hallschmid, denies that he’s a spoiler for the progressive vote, and says he’s finding a lot of Liberal voters are going Green because they can’t bring themselves to turn left.
“Often I find that Liberal voters are unhappy with all the disasters that [they’ve] had [and] most of them attribute them to Christy Clark.”
Hallschmid says in 2013, only about half of the eligible voters came out to vote.