This afternoon (March 6), the federal New Democrats will officially nominate Meena Wong as their candidate in Vancouver South.
The left-wing community activist has little chance of winning the riding, which is held by Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh.
But Wong's presence on the slate could help other NDP candidates across the region.
In 2008, Dosanjh defeated Conservative candidate Wai Young by just 20 votes in Vancouver South. New Democrat Ann Chambers trailed both of them by more than 8,700 votes.
In a rematch expected this spring, Dosanjh and Young will likely end up in the top two positions, with Wong acting as the spoiler.
The only question is whose campaign Wong will spoil.
Can she draw enough progressive support to put Dosanjh's career in the Dumpster? Or will she thwart the Conservatives by attracting enough first-generation Chinese Canadians who might otherwise vote for Young?
But Wong's real value on the federal NDP slate will be to improve the fortunes of other candidates, particularly Don Davies in Vancouver Kingsway and SFU professor Kennedy Stewart, who was recently nominated in Burnaby-Douglas.
Like Vancouver South, those two ridings have a large number of Chinese-language voters.
Wong speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin, which will boost the federal NDP's profile in local Chinese-language media outlets during an election campaign. She could end up being the most often-quoted federal NDP candidate in the region, though people who follow English-language media outlets would never know this.
In the last three federal elections, the NDP has not fielded a single candidate in the Lower Mainland who could speak Cantonese or Mandarin. It's a sorry record, and speaks to the party's traditional insularity.
As a result of not having Lower Mainland candidates of Chinese descent in the last three elections, party leader Jack Layton had to resort to bringing his wife, Toronto-area MP Olivia Chow, to Vancouver to get more coverage in the local Chinese-language media.
On other occasions, the federal NDP relied heavily on Vancouver-Mount Pleasant NDP MLA Jenny Kwan. Recently, however, Kwan has lowered her profile since speaking out against former provincial leader Carole James.
The NDP is well-positioned to attract support in the coming years from growing numbers of Mainland Chinese immigrants. Wong's presence on the slate should help in this regard, particularly if she runs in more than one federal election.
Another benefit is that the party will now be able to send a local candidate to various Chinese-language election forums.
Then there's the value of having Wong available to knock on doors with Davies in Vancouver Kingsway and with Stewart in Burnaby-Douglas.
Davies's biggest threat is Liberal Wendy Yuan, who should do well with Chinese-speaking voters. Stewart will try to hold Burnaby-Douglas against Conservative Ronald Leung, who has a high profile in the Chinese-language media.
Meanwhile, the federal New Democrats have also nominated two candidates of Punjabi descent in Surrey: Jasbir Sandhu in Surrey North and Jinny Sims in Newton-North Delta.
Both Sandhu, a restaurateur and community leader, and Sims, a former B.C. Teachers' Federation president, have good chances of getting elected.
In the last two elections, the federal NDP didn't run any candidates of Punjabi descent, which undermined the party's ability to gain Punjabi-language media exposure and attract votes from this community across the Lower Mainland.
That won't be a problem this time with two articulate, intelligent candidates of Punjabi descent running in winnable ridings in Surrey.
It's too early to say if the federal New Democrats can replicate the success of 1988, when they took 19 of 32 ridings in B.C.
But if voters decide to punish both the federal Liberals and the Conservatives for voting for the harmonized sales tax, this spring could become a watershed moment for the federal New Democrats in B.C.
And if so, one reason will be the party's decision to nominate a more diverse and inclusive slate than in previous elections.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.