Liberals block Wendy Yuan from seeking nomination in Steveston–Richmond East

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      The federal Liberals are again in the midst of party-nomination controversy in the Lower Mainland.

      Businesswoman Wendy Yuan has claimed that her bid for the Liberal nod in Steveston–Richmond East was blocked by former Richmond Liberal MP Raymond Chan.

      The federal Liberals have denied this claim.

      The party didn't allow Yuan to seek the nomination even though she ran as a Liberal candidate in Vancouver Kingsway in 2008 and 2011. She's issued a direct appeal to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to reverse the decision.

      Other Liberals withdrew from races

      Earlier this year, some Liberals complained after businessman Barj Dhahan withdrew from a hotly contested race in Vancouver South.

      This cleared the way for the acclamation of former Vancouver police officer and military commander Harjit Sajjan.

      In Vancouver Kingsway, former New Westminster planning director and former Liberal candidate Mary Pynenberg dropped out of the nomination race less than two weeks before the vote. This ensured that accountant Steven Kou could be acclaimed as the candidate.

      In Vancouver East, marijuana-legalization activist Jodie Emery was blocked from seeking a Liberal nomination. Lawyer Edward Wong eventually won the party's backing in a contested race.

      The Liberals didn't hold a contested nomination in the new riding of Vancouver Granville. Former Assembly of First Nations regional chief Jody Wilson-Raybould was chosen as the candidate.

      Yuan cites a letter she wrote

      In a statement, Yuan claimed that her life is "an open book".

      "I fail to see how my application this time differs from that of the last two elections," Yuan declared. "I have provided all the documents/materials and abided all the rules and regulations set forth by the Green Light Committee."

      Yuan alleged that she was stymied because "I wrote to the Party officials and raised my concern about one of the LPCBC's fundraising sources in the Chinese community".

      Liberal spokesperson Olivier Duchesneau has issued a statement claiming that "some serious issues prevented her from completing the process".

      Meanwhile, Yuan has produced an affidavit from Xigen Xu, who's alleged that Chan told him that Yuan wouldn't be green-lighted in Steveston–Richmond East.

      Instead, according to the affidavit, Chan said that lawyer and former MP Joe Peschisolido would be acclaimed.

      Peschisolido and Chan have fought before

      Ironically, Peschisolido is a former political rival of Chan's.

      Chan held the Richmond seat for the Liberals from 1993 to 2000 when he was defeated by Peschisolido, who represented the Canadian Alliance.

      Later, Peschisolido crossed the floor to join the Liberals, but lost the 2004 Liberal nomination to Chan, who won the seat in general elections in 2004 and 2006.

      In 2008, Chan lost the general election to Conservative Alice Wong.

      In 2011, Peschisolido captured the Liberal nomination in Richmond but was trounced by Wong in the general election.

      The Conservatives have nominated Richmond school trustee Kenny Chiu in Steveston–Richmond East.

      The New Democrats are running former New Westminster police officer Scott Stewart.

      The Greens don't have anyone listed on their website as a candidate in the riding.




      Aug 11, 2015 at 9:27am

      For what I have seen, Wendy Yuan has worked very hard on supporting the Liberal Party. She is definitely no outsider of the Party machine. This dispute looks like a Liberal Party infighting - the same kind that led to the party to be voted out almost 10 years ago.
      Disappointing is an understatement.
      What I cannot understand is - why is Wendy Yuan not even eligible to be a part of the nomination process? What does it say about the Liberal brand and their claim to be the champion of democracy? Hard to see the difference between 'dark curly hair' from "white helmet hair" :(


      Aug 11, 2015 at 9:49am

      So we have political parties that clearly don't believe in anything like democracy that will purportedly govern our free and democratic society, should they win. What utter garbage.

      It's a travesty that Jodie Emery wasn't allowed to run, but apparently travesties are par for the course!


      Aug 11, 2015 at 11:10am

      It's far too cosy/narrow in Richmond politically speaking. After all, Joe P. was a conservative who crossed over, so if you really want a change in government vote against Kenny C. and Joe P. Vote for the NDP or Green. Despite it being a newish riding, and Richmond being conservative generally, it's possible the NDP might get some traction by pointing out that it's really between two conservatives and the NDP. What's up with the Greens not having a candidate?


      Aug 11, 2015 at 11:19am

      They will vote in a Conservative. They always do in Richmond. Thankfully I moved to the City 20 years a go to get away from that mindset.

      Richmond voter

      Aug 11, 2015 at 1:23pm

      Raymond supported Joe against Mason Loh too in a previous nomination. He wants no other Chinese person to be a competitor. Raymond wants to be "the boss" of all of the Chinese in the Liberal Party.

      This time Raymond had no votes to stop Wendy but he has power with Trudeau because of all of his work on fundraising. Raymond is fine with Joe because "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

      ursa minor

      Aug 11, 2015 at 2:43pm

      @ Green - there's a reason they call it "The Family Compact"


      Aug 12, 2015 at 1:46am

      Braeden caley is a former Raymond Chan staffer- he's doing his dirty work- word around the party was former executive director of vision Ian Baillie was going to be president before Chan muscled in caley and Baillie just turned and walked away instead of slugging it out over a volunteer job. Caley use to work for Baillie at vision so much for loyalty- I've known Baillie for years and he's the type to walk in to a political situation and dispose of trash if he cares to- if not he just lets it waste away

      Chan is a central figure in the party and has vast control over many ridings he also supported caley for the president who just disqualified yuan. Politics is grand.


      Aug 12, 2015 at 10:40am

      If you read the explanation from the Liberals, it's that they now more rigorously screen applications in order to verify everything the potential nominee claims is true. It sounds like Yuan might have been caught in a lie this time around--a lie she got away with previously before they upped scrutiny of claimed credentials. If this is the case, and I believe it must be, it's good to weed out someone like this at the start. Wish employers would do this!

      Questions not being answered

      Aug 13, 2015 at 8:51am

      Liberal spokesperson Olivier Duchesneau has issued a statement claiming that "some serious issues prevented her from completing the process".

      What are these serious issues? No one is saying.

      Jodie Emery is a one-trick pony

      Aug 13, 2015 at 8:53am

      I have no issue with Jodie Emery being disqualified since she's a one-trick pony who has no interest in issues that are far more pressing than marijuana.