Ujjal Dosanjh expects “nail biter” race in Vancouver South as voting day approaches

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      As Canadians head to the polls Monday in an election that is expected to deliver some tight races in B.C., Vancouver South will be a closely watched battle.

      Incumbent Liberal candidate Ujjal Dosanjh, who won by just 20 votes in the 2008 federal election, described the area as a “hotly contested riding”.

      University of Victoria political scientist Dennis Pilon said nearly all of the Vancouver ridings could be at risk for the Liberals, as federal polls show the party’s support dropping next to the surging NDP.

      But he noted that “national polls are national polls – they don’t tell us what’s going on in particular ridings.”

      “Even the worst results for parties, you know parties still have areas of strength. The Liberals would still have to fall pretty far to lose a considerable chunk of seats,” he added.

      Dosanjh expressed confidence as voting day approaches, but predicted the race in his riding will be “a nail biter”.

      The former B.C. premier said since 2008 it’s been one long election campaign, as he has worked to win back support in the riding.

      “I’ve held about eight town halls on different issues,” he told the Straight by phone. “I’ve been coming back every weekend if I’m not out of the country.”

      The election race in Vancouver South has also featured some controversy, after Ripudaman Singh Malik, one of the men acquitted in the Air India bombings, reportedly endorsed Conservative candidate Wai Young.

      A statement posted on Young’s website rejected the endorsement and indicated that Malik “is not involved in the Conservative candidate in Vancouver South’s campaign, nor that of any other Conservative Party candidate.”

      Young could not be reached for comment by the Straight’s deadline.

      New Democrat candidate Meena Wong, who has worked on previous NDP campaigns, said more voters seem to be politically engaged this time.

      “I’m glad to see this wave of people getting really engaged, and to see young people getting engaged,” she said in a phone interview.

      "It’s so encouraging and refreshing to see people saying yeah we had enough, we want to give NDP a chance”.

      Wong, a facilitator with Vancouver Coastal Health, said some of the major issues on the campaign trail have included health care, home care, and concerns from small businesses about the impacts of the harmonized sales tax.

      Dosanjh said some of the main issues he’s heard on the doorsteps have included health care, the economy, affordable housing, and the need for a seniors’ centre in South Vancouver.

      The Liberal candidate said the eastern half of the city is under-serviced for seniors, with only one seniors’ centre east of Main Street, and eight west of Main.

      “The south east quadrant of the city has no seniors’ centre at all," he said.

      “The city has given money, the park board has given land, the provincial government hasn’t said anything and the federal government hasn’t said anything."

      The Green Party is running instructor and vocational counsellor Jean de Dieu Hakizimana in Vancouver South.

      Hakizimana said he hopes this election will help build support for the Greens.

      “We are building the future...we can see the last 10 years how we have been growing,” he told the Straight. “Developing a federal political party is not very easy work.”

      In 2008, the Green candidate had 2,065 votes. New Democrat candidate Ann Chambers received 7,376 votes, while Conservative candidate Young had 16,090, and Dosanjh won with 16,110 votes.

      Comments

      7 Comments

      Ken Lawson

      Apr 30, 2011 at 7:17pm

      Well I do not want Meena Wong, Wai Young or the Green to win in this riding!

      11 9Rating: +2

      Gagan

      Apr 30, 2011 at 7:26pm

      Time for change - Ujjal already got his chance. He never did anything that I consider great. I support Conservative because Wai Young listen to everybody and Conservative is only party which is going make tough laws against criminals and terrorists.

      Traitor to the NDP!

      May 1, 2011 at 1:04am

      TAKE A STANCE AGAINST UJJAL DOSANJH! FORWARD THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS - HE'S BETRAYED THE NDP BEFORE, DON'T LET HIM DECEIVE YOU AGAIN!!!!

      "Principles? Ethics? Commitment? The April 1 announcement of former NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh's instant candidacy for the Paul Martin federal Liberals is about none of the above. No, it's about Dosanjh selling out his principles for power. It's a desperate attempt to become a cabinet minister in a scandal-ridden government that will say and do anything to stay in office." - Bill Tieleman, April 8, 2004

      http://www.straight.com/article/dosanjh-betrays-principles-with-defection

      Ujjal has been flapping his gums with all sorts of untrue statements. His statements stand to be corrected. His actions of running a smear campaign is despicable. He's made up stories about his political opponent's fabricated relations, and digs deep into family feud issues just to cause an 80 year old woman grief. Ujjal can and will sell you and your family out - he's done it before he can do it again! In a personal letter hand-delivered to Dosanjh and obtained exclusively by theGeorgia Straight , McLaughlin accuses Dosanjh of betraying his own NDP supporters for "prospective personal gain".

      McLaughlin, who became the first woman to lead a federal party in the House of Commons when elected NDP leader in 1989, says in the April 7, 2004, letter that Dosanjh's decision to run as the Liberal candidate in Vancouver South can only be viewed as a result of "pure personal ambition and ego".

      "As a former leader of the New Democratic Party, I am writing to express my dismay at your decision to run as a candidate for the Liberal party," McLaughlin wrote. "I certainly understand when people decide to change political parties, it is part of the individual choice of Canadians which I respect.

      "However, I do not believe that your decision can be seen other than in the light of pure personal ambition and ego. You have been quoted as saying it is about 'principle' not party. This is ridiculous in your case, just be honest and state that you have taken this decision for prospective personal gain."

      http://www.straight.com/article-2205/exndp-leader-writes-ujjal-dosanjh-d...

      10 9Rating: +1

      kaur

      May 1, 2011 at 7:47am

      Sorry Bob, but it sounds like NDP sour grapes to me. If I lost a star like Ujjal Dosanjh, I’d be bitter too.

      I often oscillate between Liberals & NDP b/c there are parts of both parties that appeal to me and they’re sometimes not that far apart. Someone who is to the right as an NDPer and to the left as a Liberal can essentially be on the same wavelength. And mind you, we are talking about provincial vs federal parties that Ujjal changed to. Anyway, I hope that the message here isn’t that in my journey in life, I must stay stagnant with my beliefs and never charter into new ways of thinking/ideology or taking advantage of opportunities. It’s with life experiences that we grow, evolve and change.

      Ujjal has gone against radical elements within his own ethnic community which represents a large portion of his current riding. This hasn’t been an entirely popular measure and has resulted in backlash. We rarely see politicians do what’s right and best for the community over what’s politically prudent to get re-elected. Hence Ujjal’s current political struggle.

      I think Vancouver South reflects the overall unfortunate reality of this year’s federal election which is that dirty slandering is paying off over substance.

      12 9Rating: +3

      winston1

      May 1, 2011 at 1:59pm

      Ujjal empowers himself when
      Ujjal empowers himself when he speaks out against Sikh extremists.

      Ujjal empowers the extremists when he speaks out against extremism.

      Ujjal empowers an Indian government for human rights abuses when Ujjal speaks out against Sikh exteremists.

      Ujjal empowers NO non Indian residents when he speaks out against Sikh extremism.

      Ujjal empowers the Liberals when he scours a link to charities of Sikh extremism.

      Ujjal did you advocate for a float in the Vaishiki parade to commemorate the 329 people killed on Air India 182?

      Thank you sincerely Ujjal Dosanjh for all you have contributed. Your power is now impotent.

      11 8Rating: +3

      winston1

      May 1, 2011 at 2:00pm

      Ujjal Dosanjh
      A poster on another site offered this insight: He articulated that Malik was a Liberal insider that served up the demise of the Conservative
      party.

      Considering the history of air india, the liberals in power the failure of RCMP and CSIS, Chretian at Old man Khdar's beck and command in Pakistan to free the guy from Pakistan jail for terrorist activities...

      Malik might very well already be the king maker in Canada

      nail-biter

      May 2, 2011 at 6:47am

      If Ujjal Dosanjh's choices with dealing with the radical terrorist group element in his riding doesn't show his character, integrity and professionalism, I don't know what will.

      We always complain about politician's lack of morality, but Ujjal has taken risks that show his abundance of this characteristic. It's bizarre to me that he's being mindlessly attacked in every direction instead of being raised with praise.

      It will be a travesty if Ujjall Dosanjh doesn't win his riding. In case he doesn't I'm sure he will move on to bigger and better things, but it will be the taxpayers who will be the losers.

      Don't regret it later, VOTE.