Former chief judge Carol Baird Ellan enlivens federal race in Burnaby North–Seymour

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      A former judge is hoping to emulate Wally Oppal and make the transition into electoral politics.

      Carol Baird Ellan, the Provincial Court's former chief judge, is seeking the NDP nomination in Burnaby North–Seymour.

      The new riding includes the eastern part of the North Shore, which is traditional Conservative turf, and the northeastern section of Burnaby, which tends to lean NDP.

      However with federal polls showing the Liberals ahead nationally, it's conceivable that a Grit could take the riding should the stars align in Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's favour in 2015.

      Baird Ellan has highlighted environmental issues on her website. It's timely, given the chorus of opposition to Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline.

      "I am entering politics now because I am deeply concerned about what we are doing to our environment and the planet," Baird Ellan writes on her website. "The climate crisis is here, and Canada is not doing enough. Under the Harper Conservatives, we have fallen behind, and are now one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to mitigating climate change."

      She adds that oil cannot be the energy source in the future and there needs to be greater emphasis on renewable energy programs.

      Baird Ellan has been endorsed by Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan, one of the pipeline project's foremost opponents. She's a resident of North Vancouver, but notes that she also has ties to the Burnaby part of the riding.

      "I served as Chief Judge when the BC Liberal government was elected, and closed many of our courthouses without consulting the public or us in the judiciary," she writes on her website. "One of those lost was the Burnaby courthouse, in which I had both prosecuted and sat as a judge."

      She became the Provincial Court's eighth chief judge in 2000. Early in her career, she spent two years practising tax law, according to a 2001 article in the Advocate.

      Actor Michael Charrois has also declared his intention to seek the NDP nomination. He lives in North Vancouver and teaches theatre arts programs at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby. The third declared candidate is Trevor Ritchie.

      Meanwhile, the Liberals have nominated high-tech entrepreneur and university lecturer Terry Beech.

      Former three-term District of North Vancouver councillor Mike Little has been nominated as the Conservative candidate.




      Dec 8, 2014 at 12:38am

      Wonderful... a candidate that has no chance of winning.

      Marcy Toms

      Dec 8, 2014 at 8:32am

      I am tremendously encouraged - in an often discouraging political environment - that Carol Baird Ellan is seeking this NDP nomination. Serious social democrats, those who not only want to get elected but also want to be anchored in solid, clearly-articulated politics based on core principles, need more of Carol's kind to come forward. As for the no-hopers, I disagree. Years ago, the riding resembled this new iteration, and while certainly no walk in the park now, a high-profile, strong candidate with proven integrity and an energetic campaign, has the potential to appeal to many people regardless of current partisan allegiances. First, though, she has to win the nomination and I am convinced she has an excellent chance of doing so.

      Robert Quinn

      Dec 8, 2014 at 11:30am

      I know Carol personally through years of friendship with members of her family, and from growing up on the North Shore. She is a wonderfully wise, caring person and she'll make a fantastic M.P. She has a razor wit, a commanding knowledge of law and policy, and she's positively brilliant. More than all of this, though, she cares about our community. Deeply. Carol is someone who will strive with all of her might to make life better for every single resident of the riding, and the country. She has my vote.


      Dec 8, 2014 at 4:34pm

      Terry Beech will win this riding without question.


      Aug 13, 2015 at 5:36pm

      Why are Carol's signs in Chinese and English? This is a Federal election - our two official languages are English and French.
      Choosing Chinese is offensive to all the other multicultural groups in Canada and an affront to our Nation