Ever since Hedy Fry entered federal politics in 1993, she's soundly defeated all of her challengers in Vancouver Centre.
Parliamentarian Kennedy Stewart, former MP Svend Robinson, academic Michael Byers, former MLA Lorne Mayencourt, city councillor Adriane Carr, and former city councillor Jennifer Clarke have all been crushed by Fry, the longest-serving Liberal MP in B.C. history.
This weekend, New Democrats nominated their next challenger in Vancouver Centre: Constance Barnes. The election is expected to be called in October 2015.
Barnes topped the polls when she ran as a Vision Vancouver park-board candidate in 2008 and 2011, each time capturing more than 62,000 votes in citywide contests. She didn't seek reelection in 2014.
The most votes Fry ever received was 25,013 in 2006 against Robinson and five other candidates.
Barnes works at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and has been a strong advocate for arts and culture during her six-year tenure on the park board. Her lowest point in politics came when she took a leave of absence from the board after being charged with impaired driving in 2009.
She was the only Vision Vancouver commissioner who voted against a four-percent increase to many park fees and charges in 2010.
“I have a real sensitivity to any kind of increases, and anything that’s going to cost families and single moms and dads and kids,” Barnes told the Straight at the time.
At the last park board meeting, Barnes voted against NPA commissioners and two Vision colleagues, Aaron Jasper and Trevor Loke, on a motion to let the incoming NPA-controlled board decide the future of breeding whales and dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium.
This year, Barnes was one of the board's strongest critics of allowing cetaceans to continue reproducing inside the tourist attraction at Stanley Park.
Meanwhile, redistribution has changed the boundary of Vancouver Centre for the next election. It currently extends south to West 16th Avenue between Ontario and Arbutus streets and includes the downtown area.
The new boundary only extends as far south as West 6th Avenue below Fairview Slopes, West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, and East 2nd Avenue below Mount Pleasant.