Today’s Poll

As many as 7 candidates in upcoming election; Rhino Party a possibility

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
September 10th, 2015

The slate of contenders for South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP seems to be increasing rapidly as the filing deadline (Sept. 28) approaches.

Although the Elections Canada website only shows three hopefuls so far, at least three more have expressed their desire to run in our riding (current MP Alex Atamanenko will be retiring at the end of this term).

Elections Canada, as of Sept. 10, listed Richard Cannings for NDP, Connie Denesiuk for Liberal and Marshall Neufeld for Conservative, but Independents Doug Pederson and Brian Gray have announced their candidacy in the Penticton Western News.

The Green Party has not yet fielded a candidate, but Rossland’s Stephen Hill filed nomination papers Friday. You may remember Hill as the Conservative candidate in the last federal election, but he says it wasn’t much of a leap to switch to Green.

“I believe in their fiscal policy – cuts to EI, cuts to CPP, support of small business,” Hill said. “I’m using the exact same literature from last time (I ran for MP).”

There may even be a spoiler taking the stage – Jon Pelletier of Penticton is listed on the Rhinoceros Party website as their candidate for the area, but Pelletier himself said he won’t be able to run without some sort of sponsorship.

“The trouble is, I don’t have $1,000,” he said, adding Elections Canada requires 100 signatures, the signature of an accountant, the signature of a lawyer and a deposit of $1,000 (to be refunded after the election) before they will put your name on the ballot. “It’s a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

He said the rules were created when all the top-tier parties, “conspired to pass this law to prevent the freaky people from running for office”.

He may still take a swing at the seat, though, if he finds a sponsor.

“I have until the 21st to get the $1,000, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Elections Canada has committed to have the full slate of hopefuls posted on their website by Sept. 30.

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