Nanaimo-Alberni MP candidates gun for Lunney

The federal election is a month away and the jockeying has started for the MP's seat in Nanaimo-Alberni.

It could be a horse race as Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney is facing a slew of challengers for his riding in the May 2 federal election.

Lunney has served as MP since first being elected in 2000.

He last won in 2008 earning 28,930 votes, or 47 per cent of the riding’s votes.

Local homeless activist Myron Jespersen is flying the Green Party banner in his first foray into politics.

Jespersen has been active with the Community Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness, and has been at the forefront of the Alberni Valley’s homelessness issue.

The environment is one issue at the crux of his platform.

“I really feel like we need a strong voice for the environment that isn’t diluted by other interests,” Jespersen said.

The democratic process is the other issue central in his campaign.

“I want to work on increasing the participation of people in decision making,” he said.

“Power is being concentrated in fewer hands with election and policy decisions.”

Former school trustee Zeni Maartman is taking a second run at the seat for the NDP.

In the 2008 election, she garnered 19,680 votes or 31 per cent of the ballots.

She is involved with Nanaimo’s chamber of commerce, as well as its social planning committee, and is active in tourism as well.

Criminal defense lawyer Renee Miller replaces Richard Pesic as the Liberal candidate for the riding.

She’s spent time in court in Port Alberni, and according to her campaign literature the justice system and families are integral parts of her campaign.

“We need to spend more on rehabilitation, education and training so the incarcerated are prepared to re-enter society successfully,” Miller said.

“…we also need to start investing more in early childhood education and supporting children at risk.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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