The start of the upcoming provincial election campaign is unofficially underway with the announcement from the local Liberal riding association that Herb Pond, former Mayor of Prince Rupert has gained the nomination for the Liberals in the north coast riding.
The Northern View has provided details on the successful bid by Mr. Pond who was given the nod by acclamation, no doubt a favourable outcome for Premier Gordon Campbell who had in recent visits to Prince Rupert had praised the then Mayor and had given many an impression that Mr. Pond might be a preferred candidate to carry the Liberal flag in the riding.
The now Liberal candidate is a relative newcomer to the party, having only taken out his party membership in late 2008 after his time as Mayor had come to an end with the November municipal election.
The word of his nomination success hasn't quite reached Liberal control however, as the Liberal party website still doesn't have a candidate listed in the North Coast riding, a click on the North coast link provides a video of the Premier but no information about the local developments.
Mr. Pond's competitor is anticipated to be Gary Coons the current MLA for the riding, it's expected that his nomination is but a mere formality when the local NDP riding association gathers in February, providing the region with what is expected to be a closely fought and highly entertaining and hopefully informative campaign, leading up to the provincial election in 114 days.
The two candidates will offer up a very different viewpoint of what it will take to help the North Coast recover from what has been some very trying economic times over the last number of years. Each bringing their experience and knowledge of the issues to the debate.
What will be interesting to follow is to which path the voters of the North coast will follow, the one offered by Mr. Pond and his new compatriots in the BC Liberal party, or the options that are being offered up by Mr. Coons party the NDP.