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Delta-Richmond East Conservatives to make their choice Monday

Who will replace Delta-Richmond East MP John Cummins?
Federal Conservative Party members in Delta-Richmond East vote for who will replace current MP John Cummins on Monday (March 21).

Federal Conservative Party members in Delta-Richmond East vote for their new representative Monday night (March 21).

It's been only a week since Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced current MP John Cummins will not be seeking re-election, in addition to fellow MPs Stockwell Day and Chuck Strahl.

Riding president Don Brooks said the typically two-month long nomination and membership drive process has been compressed into a week so the riding does not find itself without a candidate should the federal Liberals call a snap election.

"Because of circumstance," Brooks explained. "It's possible the House will fall in the next week or so . . . Our challenge here was to have candidates in place so if the writ were dropped then our candidates would not be at a disadvantage by having to run a nomination, and then go out and do something (campaign)."

Eligible to vote are the about 500 Conservative Party members in Delta-Richmond East who have been members since before Feb. 25.

Brooks said in addition to the timeline, what will make this vote interesting is the absence of a membership drive, which can lead to thousands of new members who often overwhelm the "party faithful."

"In this case it's going to be party stalwarts, it's going to be the people who have been members of the party for at least prior to Feb. 25."

The meeting takes place at the Sundance Inn in Ladner (6574 Ladner Trunk Road). Registration starts at 6:30 p.m., and the nominees will give speeches at 7 p.m. Voting by single transferable ballot is expected to start at 8 p.m.

Those who have thrown their hat into the ring are Delta board of education chair Dale Saip, former Delta Chamber of Commerce president Maria DeVries, realtor Keith Roy, Howard Jampolsky, who is on the Conservative Delta-Richmond East board of directors, and Kerry-Lynne Findlay, a lawyer who was appointed to Queen's Counsel in 1999.