THERE are six contenders for the Conservative nomination in the new federal riding of Cloverdale-Langley City: former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal, Surrey businessman Paul Brar, former Liberal MLA Dave Hayer, life insurance salesman Mike Garisto, former Langley city councillor Dean Drysdale, and Surrey business lawyer Tako van Popta.
On November 8 (Saturday) at AJ McLellan Elementary School at 16545 61 Avenue, Conservatives will decide who will represent them in the 2015 federal election (which could take place in spring – if Harper wants to spring a surprise, maybe with a special budget! – otherwise in fall).
Although there are three South Asian contenders, South Asians comprise only 10 per cent of the riding’s population. East Asians form another 10 per cent and the rest are all white.
GREWAL, when asked by The VOICE whether he is confident of winning the nomination, replied: “Yes, I am. I have worked hard.”
He pointed out that he was first elected (in 1997) from the then-Surrey Central federal riding, which comprised over 75 per cent of the new riding area-wise as well as in terms of the number of residents. Although he won by only 2,800 votes in 1997, in the following election in 2000, he defeated the then-Liberal star candidate Peter Warkentin by 11,000 votes. After redistribution, the riding became Newton-North Delta in the 2004 election.
Grewal claimed that even though there were new residents in this area, “there are residents who have been living there for a longer period of time in comparison with (those in) other parts of Surrey. So I am confident (of their support) … done a lot of door knocking.”
He said he wanted to return to Ottawa to help move issues that he had championed earlier for the sake of the community.
BRAR was modest when asked by The VOICE if he was confident of winning. “You never know the outcome in a fair election, but I will try my best,” he said. But he was all ready for the nomination meeting.
He noted: “The most important thing is that people should look at the candidates’ credentials, their honesty and integrity and what they have done in the past and base their decision on that.”
HAYER emailed to The VOICE that he was still in the race. But he didn’t get back to The VOICE in spite of several phone calls and an email. There are rumours that he is planning to support another candidate.
(BREAKING NEWS: Sources on Saturday told The VOICE that the Conservative Party may take some kind of drastic action in the riding.)