One of B.C.'s most colourful former MLAs has announced that he's challenging former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan for the B.C. Liberal nomination in Vancouver–False Creek.
Lorne Mayencourt, who represented the downtown constituency of Vancouver-Burrard from 2001 to 2008, revealed his intention at La Terraza restaurant.
It's in the heart of Vancouver–False Creek, which was created out of part of Vancouver-Burrard when the city received its 11th seat in the legislature in the 2009 provincial election.
In his seven years in the legislature, Mayencourt was a sometimes polarizing figure, admired by his supporters for his work ethic, his tireless promotion of the tourism sector, and for advancing safe-streets legislation to thwart aggressive panhandling.
Mayencourt was opposed by many on the left and the LGBT community for supporting former premier Gordon Campbell's policies, which included abolishing the B.C. Human Rights Commission, slashing welfare rates for single mothers with children between three and seven, introducing a two-year independence test for welfare, and ripping up contracts with health-care workers and teachers.
In 2004, the Straight published an article citing concerns from a letter carrier, Rick Letendre, who alleged that he had been suspended for a week without pay because Mayencourt had complained about him to Canada Post.
In his second term, Mayencourt developed a keen interest in addressing drug addiction—a passion shared by Sullivan. The former mayor has demonstrated strongly libertarian views on the use of illegal narcotics, at times characterizing addicts as people with disabilities.
Mayencourt ran as a federal Conservative in Vancouver Centre in 2008, and helped Christy Clark win the B.C. Liberal leadership. Sullivan's strongest supporters in the past have often come from federal Conservative ranks.
The incumbent, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Mary McNeil, is not seeking reelection. The NDP recently nominated digital-media entrepreneur Matt Toner as its candidate in a tight race with park commissioner Constance Barnes.
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