With 28 days until voters head to the polls, five people so far have announced they are running to represent Delta in parliament.
Incumbent Carla Qualtrough is seeking a third term as Delta’s MP, a position she has held since 2015. Qualtrough has been a member of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet since day one, most recently as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. Her previous portfolios include sport and persons with disabilities, public services and procurement and accessibility, and briefly served as acting president of the Treasury Board.
A three-time Paralympic medalist in swimming, Qualtrough previously worked as a human rights lawyer, and served as president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and as vice-chair of the Delta Gymnastics Society.
Challenging Qualtrough for Delta’s seat in Ottawa are Conservative candidate Garry Shearer, NDP hopeful Monika Dean, Green Jeremy Smith and People’s Party of Canada candidate Paul Tarasenko.
Shearer announced in late July he would be leaving his role as executive director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce to run for office under the Conservative Party banner. Shearer joined the chamber as executive director in December of 2018, having previously worked in the technology sector as an executive of several successful start-up businesses. A Rotarian since 1992, Shearer has previously served as president of the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen, and is also a past president of the Delta Hospice Society.
In 2018, Shearer ran for Delta council under former Delta police chief Jim Cessford’s Independents Working for You slate, where he came in ninth place with 8,710 votes (5.5 per cent of votes cast), about 1,400 shy of a seat on council.
In a press release announcing his candidacy, Shearer said his campaign will focus on addressing the significant challenges Delta is facing through a strong recovery plan to secure jobs and get the economy back on track.
NDP candidate Dean is an arborist by profession and a labour and community advocate by passion, according to a bio submitted to the Reporter. Dean has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and works in the City of Surrey’s parks department. A member of the CUPE Local 402, Dean serves as both executive at large for her local union as well as CUPE’s Metro Vancouver District Council, which comprises local unions from across the Lower Mainland. She is also a former regional alternate vice-president for CUPE BC.
“Dean has been content for a number of years to advance issues of social justice away from the political spotlight, but she decided to run as a federal election candidate for the NDP this year because she was so inspired by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and his focus on helping everyday, regular Canadians, from seniors struggling to pay for prescription medicine to young families who can’t afford childcare.”
According to a bio on the Green Party’s website, Smith is a North Delta resident who for the past two decades has worked in the waste recovery business, where he was part of a team that brought oil container recycling and antifreeze recycling to the province. For the past six years, Smith has worked at GFL Environmental Inc., and has been operations manager since 2016.
“Through this work experience and mentorship, Jeremy learned the value of recycling, building relationships and pushing himself out of his comfort zone,” the bio reads.
Tarasenko, according to a bio on the PPC’s website, attended North Delta’s Burnsview Secondary in the school’s French Immersion program before graduating with distinction from Trinity Western University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in general studies, with a focus on education, history and environmental science. He is now trying to make a name for himself by working hard in the logistics field and by starting his own small business, according to his bio.
“While still young, Paul is trying to make a name for himself by mentoring young adults at his local church in the virtues of hard work, humility, steadfastness, and honesty. Paul has become increasingly frustrated with the establishment parties and career politicians who are more concerned with satisfying the needs of special interest groups instead of the people. That’s why Paul joined the PPC, to make a difference and put Canada and her people first.”
Voting day is Monday, Sept. 20, with advanced voting happening Sept. 10-13. Candidate nominations close at 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 30. Riding information on the Elections Canada website shows that, of the 103,064 people in the city (according to the 2016 census), 77,372 are currently registered to vote.
The Liberals have held the riding since it was created in 2015. Previously, from 2004 to 2015, the riding was split between of Newton—North Delta (last represented by the NDP’s Jinny Simms, 2011-2015) and Delta—Richmond East (last represented by Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay, 2011-2015).
That election, Qualtrough defeated Findlay, capturing 27,355 of the 55,689 valid votes cast (49.1 per cent). Findlay received 18,255 votes (32.8 per cent), followed by NDP candidate Jeremy Leveque with 8,311 votes (14.9 per cent) and Green candidate Anthony Edward Devellano with 1,768 votes (3.2 per cent).
Last election — which was held on Oct. 21, 2019 — Qualtrough received 22,257 of the 53,976 valid ballots cast (41.2 per cent), followed by Conservative Tanya Corbet with 17,809 votes (33 per cent), NDP candidate Randy Anderson-Fennell with 8,792 votes (16.3 per cent), Green Craig DeCraene with 3,387 (6.3 per cent), the PPC’s Angelina Ireland with 948 votes (1.8 per cent) and independent candidates Amarit Bains (398 votes, 0.7 per cent) and Tony Bennett (385 votes, about 0.7 per cent).