Former Green candidate Karen Shillington seeks NDP nomination in Vancouver Centre
A former Green party candidate says she wants to run for the NDP in Vancouver Centre.
In an interview at the corner of Thurlow and Davie streets, Karen Shillington told the Georgia Straight that she left the Greens after Adriane Carr ousted Stewart Parker as the provincial leader in 2000.
"The Greens are never going to form a government, bottom line," Shillington said. "It is all about forming a government or coming second, that kind of thing—and be that opposition that keeps government honest."
Shillington, an antipoverty activist, lived in Nanaimo for 30 years and ran for the Greens in the 1991 and 1996 provincial elections. She ran federally for the Greens in Nanaimo-Cowichan in the 1997 campaign.
She said she has lived in Vancouver Centre for two years. In the past, she worked on behalf of a group called End Legislated Poverty.
When asked what issues she would raise during a campaign if she's nominated, Shillington replied: "It’s got to be affordable housing and the lack of a national housing program. The Liberals cut it and the Conservatives, you know, didn’t put it back."
She said that she was trained as a fisheries technician, but also spent 11 years on social assistance as a single mother.
"Motherhood is not valued nearly as much as it should be in our society," Shillington commented. "Things are so much worse now. It was a bit of a hard slog back then."
She also worked on various community initiatives in the Nanaimo area, including opposing a freeway going through her low-income neighbourhood.
The president of the Vancouver Centre New Democrats, Tim Armstrong, told the Straight that the candidate-selection meeting will likely take place by the end of the week.
"At this stage, Karen is the only person who has announced an intention to seek the nomination," he said.
The Conservatives also haven't announced who they will run against Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry in Vancouver Centre.
Fry has held the riding since 1993, when she defeated Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell.
Entrepreneur Rachel Greenfeld was previously nominated as the Conservative, but resigned in February, according to her Facebook page.
The Conservatives' Vancouver Centre website states that a new candidate was supposed to have been nominated on March 24 at an undisclosed location. But two days later, the party hasn't identified a Vancouver Centre candidate on its site.
The Vancouver Centre Green party website states that deputy leader Adriane Carr will run again after coming fourth in 2008 behind Fry, Conservative Lorne Mayencourt, and New Democrat Michael Byers.