The Hump — the steep, agee amplitude of Artery 4 that climbs up and over the back of Vancouver Island — ides Courtenay-Alberni in added agency than one.
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It’s as admitting addition emptied a acclamation box at the top, and the orange votes fell bottomward one ancillary and the dejected bottomward the other.
The east ancillary of the riding, me to the retirees w migrated to the golf courses of Courtenay, Parksville and Quali Beach, tilts Conservative.
The west, area the loggers and comminute workers live, leans New Democrat.
At least, that’s the way it looks if you booty the 2011 acclamation after-effects and displace them on this anew consuted consuency. Acceptable luck addition out what that agency this time, tugh.
The inbent, array of, is John Duncan, the alone Conservative active for re-election on Vancouver Island.
Most of the benumbed he represented for 22 of the accomplished 24 years was further north, but this time he’s active in the area captivated by backward MP James Lunney for the accomplished 15 years (Lunney accommodated from the Conservative conclave in March during a altercation over his angle on the approach of evolution).
Duncan is up adjoin New Democrat Gord Johns, a 45-year-old agent and above councillor from Tofino. Additionally active are 51-year-old Green applicant Glenn Sollitt of Quali, w owns a seafood-distribution business; Liberal Carrie Powell-Davidson, 56, a biographer and above affiliate of Parksville council; and Marxist-Leninist Barbara Biley.
There’s a activity amid the challengers (and w knows if this is based on absoluteness or ambitious cerebration on their part) that the east ancillary isn’t as adamantly dejected as it was.
“A huge allocation of this benumbed has alone lived actuality 10 years or less,” says NDP attack administrator Michele Babchuk.
And Duncan, actuality new to the riding, doesn’t absolutely accept an inbent’s actomed advantage. He carries a bit of baggage, too: An inappropriate letter to the Tax Court resulted in his abandonment as ancient diplomacy abbot in 2013 (tugh as far as scandals go, that was hardly Duffy-esque).
Everybody is auctioning over Parksville. The NDP accept their capital attack appointment there, aloof three doors bottomward from the Liberals. The Conservative HQ is a few kilometres bottomward the highway. The Green Party appointment is in between.
The New Democrats fuss about the aftereffect of the Greens, w they abrrence will carry abroad abundant of the orange vote to aculate Duncan in power. They’re counting on the ABC — Anybody But Conservative — army to vote strategically.
That array of cerebration is reflected by Maryanne Dreger, continuing in the aperture of her Quali Beach sp. “Maybe bodies w would vote Green will vote NDP if they appee Harper out,” she says. Dreger absolutely brand Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, but ability blame of the prime abbot more.
That’s arresting to the Greens’ Sollitt, w says the NDP’s “scare tactics” are based on the apocryphal apriorism that Green abutment comes at the amount of the New Democrats. “We’re cartoon abutment from all over.” (And cipher asks area the Liberals beat their votes.)
Meanwhile, others ane the prime abbot is accomplishing fine. “I ane the abridgement is as acceptable as we can expect,” says retired radiologist Glen Champion, arising from a Parksville grocery store. “I don’t see the added two [leaders] accomplishing bigger with the spending affairs they have.”
Demographics drive priorities in this riding. The Hump — a agee ascendance so abrupt that the logging trucks clamber up with their hazard lights aflame — absolutely is a adding line.
Out west in arcadian Tofino (nestly, it was some of God’s best work) the ambiance claims top-of-mind consciousness. Port Alberni loves the outdoors, too, admitting conceivably in added of a tin’ and fishin’ way (“Best blast for your blade accoutrements for sale” apprehend the covering alfresco Canadian Tire; you don’t see signs like that in Oak Bay).
Bill Collette, controlling administrator of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, thinks the city’s comminute boondocks angel is changing, tugh. “People are attractive at us abnormally than they acclimated to.”
It was a abundant summer for the accommodation industry, with inquiries to volunteers at the advice centre, Cathedral Grove and added day-tripper stops aerial 265 per cent in June. And abounding of tse visitors noticed Alberni’s low absolute acreage prices.
“My abode in Parksville is about $220,000 added than my abode here,” says Collette, w owns mes in both communities. Tourists from Alberta agency in that affectionate of aberration back they alpha cerebration about area to retire. “This boondocks is activity to explode.”
But bottomward at Port Alberni’s Clam Bucket Restaurant, buyer Rnda Ursel has a beneath aflush view. Tourism is accomplished for two or three months of the year, but what’s bare is full-time ignment in a burghal area the citizenry has continued vered about 17,000 and the Catalyst cardboard comminute doesn’t accommodate the jobs it already did.
“We charge some affectionate of industry here,” Ursel says.
The adolescent men, the 20- to 30-year-olds, accept had to leave town. There are additionally affluence of families area mom lds the acropolis in Port Alberni while baron dad cobweb elsewhere, abiding every few weeks to reacquaint himself with the kids. The city’s average age of 46 is the aforementioned as that of Courtenay, but Courtenay, pop. 24,000, is growing.
Over on the added ancillary of the Hump, it’s not necessarily work, but activity afterwards work, that preoccupies voters.
“They suld accession the pensions instead of aircraft the money overseas,” says Ron Walsh, 19 years retired from a career as a boilermaker, as he emerges from the Quali Beach Pharmasave. He additionally wants bigger ysis for veterans.
The riding’s east ancillary skews older. The average age amid the 12,000 bodies in Parksville is 58.2 (that compares to 40.6 beyond Canada). That’s bounce craven area to Quali Beach, the oldest ociation in Canada with a average age of 64.
Only in Quali would the 66-year-old Duncan be nicknamed “Sonny.” Well, no, but you get the point.
Along with Stephen Harper, Duncan is the aftermost of the old-time Reform Party beachcomber of 1993 active for re-election. The Conservatives ane that affectionate of acquaintance carries currency. His opponents are counting on bodies cerebration it’s time for a change, switching their votes.
But some longtime voters are absorption abandoning the acclamation box altogether.
“It aloof seems like games,” says Lou Lefebre, blame a friend’s adolescent in a adventurer alfresco Cumberland’s Wandering Moose Cafe. “I don’t ane anyone’s absolutely anxious about the world. I acquisition it absolutely discouraging.”
> Added advice about the Courtenay-Alberni benumbed and its candidates
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