There’s a lot of upset in Vancouver-Point Grey … maybe just enough to upset their local MLA Gordon Campbell in more ways than one.
Campbell carried the riding by 2,000 votes last time around … not exactly an enormous win for a Premier … and he’s done quite a few things during his latest term that could even erode that lead even more.
A BIG problem, judging by many I’ve talked to there, is Campbell’s determination to recognize aboriginal land title right around the province. This may garner support on the Musqueam reserve, but has turned off more voters elsewhere in the riding.
MANY local residents are still fuming over the $220 Million giveaway deal in Nov. 2007 that will hand the Musqueam Band 24 hectares of land now part of Pacific Spirit Park; as well as the 59-hectare University Golf Course; the 7-hectare Brideport Casino property in Richmond; and $20 million in cash.
In return the band agrees to allow the golf course to keep operating until 2033. Big deal! And Campbell’s neighbours are not amused by that one.
And then there’s the Premier himself … a good friend of business to be sure (a winning trait with Point Grey’s well-heeled, corporate crowd) … but also coming across as cold and arrogant.
And his refusal to answer ANY questions about ANY of the government dealings involving his campaign strategist Patrick KInsella isn’t winning him support either.
Not to mention Vancouver=Point Grey’s large UBC student population, who have seen their student fees skyrocket under Campbell.
Whether all this would be enough to defeat the Liberal leader in his own riding will depend on how heavy the turnout is … and who goes to vote.
NDP candidate Mel Lehan has been working hard … for 20 years … as a “community activist” in the riding.
His platform places a lot of emphasis on student tuition costs, student housing, grants and research funding.
And if he can get the student vote out and capitalize on Campbell’s vulnerability on the issues cited above, he just could pull off an upset.
Now wouldn’t that be interesting.