Two Conservative Party of Canada members are vying for their party’s nomination to run in the newly formed federal riding of Burnaby North-Seymour.
Mike Little, 37, is a three-term councillor with the District of North Vancouver who lives on the Seymour side of the riding.
“I have been on the board of the local Conservative riding association since 1999, so council has certainly given me a lot of experience along the way, but I have been interested in federal politics for a long time,” said Little.
While his base has been on the North Shore, Little has worked and spends time in Burnaby and he said the two communities have a lot in common.
“We share the waterways and we have lots of agreements regionally that affect both Seymour and Burnaby through Metro Vancouver, we share the Second Narrows Bridge, for better or worse, and so I do see a lot of connections in our areas and I don’t think it will be a problem getting to know the community better than I already do,” he said.
If he is successful in becoming member of Parliament for the riding, areas of concern in Burnaby he would like to focus on are disaster preparedness and response, improving healthcare and Internet security.
Burnaby resident Daren Hancott, 48, is new to the political arena but also hoping to get the Conservatives’ nod.
Hancott has worked in business and education and is a current member and past chair of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce where he reviews and writes policies to help businesses.
“I am trying to bring a fresh approach to politics and I am not a politician, I am just an average Joe who is doing a lot,” said Hancott.
“I just like helping people, and I figure if you are in the limelight you can probably do more than if you are sitting back doing it quietly.”
Hancott said he is currently talking to residents in the riding to find out their concerns, but were he to become MP, youth unemployment, safer streets and business taxation would be issues he would like to address.
“If we want businesses hiring people and we want to make sure we are supporting families and low income families, everyone has to be working at a reasonable rate so we don’t want to be driving businesses away,” he said.
In their quest to be members of Parliament in Ottawa, Little and Hancott join Trevor Ritchie and Michael Charrois, who are vying for the NDP nomination, and Terry Beech, who is hoping to secure the Liberal candidacy.
None of the parties have set a date to choose candidates.
The Burnaby North-Seymour riding was formed when the Burnaby-Douglas riding was split in two, after a review from the B.C. electoral boundaries commission in August of 2013.