Delta Richmond-East Tory candidate ready to run
Delta-Richmond East Tory candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay is kicking her campaign into high gear as the impending federal election marches quickly closer.
“It’s going to be an intense five weeks but I’m energized, I’m enthusiastic and we’re getting organized,” she said this week.
The 55-year-old lawyer lives in South Vancouver, but plans to move into the Delta-Richmond East riding if elected. She was appointed to Queen’s Council in 1999 and says her experience with public speaking, legislative and court reform, and civic planning will benefit this community.
“I come with a lot of tools in my toolbox for the riding and the more effective one is in debate, the more effective one is in negotiation.”
Findlay is currently legal counsel for the BC Fisheries Survival Coalition and the Fraser River gillnetters before the Cohen Commission.
If elected, she said the major issues affecting Delta-Richmond East she would raise in Ottawa include the tensions between development and traditional land use, expansion of South Fraser Perimeter Road and Deltaport, and the use of Tsawwassen First Nations land. And the overriding issue of the economy and job security is important in every riding, she said.
Findlay also said she would be willing to work with other levels of government when it comes to issues outside federal jurisdiction.
While she is a longtime member of the federal Conservative party, Findlay was a card-carrying member of both the provincial and federal Liberal parties when she was younger. But later in life, as a self-employed professional and mother of four, she re-examined her political beliefs.
“I really looked at the parties and what they stood for and I realized I was in the wrong party and I made the change.”
She ran as the Canadian Alliance candidate in Vancouver-Quadra in the 2000 federal election, but lost to the Liberal candidate. She also unsuccessfully ran for the Conservative candidate nomination in Richmond in 2005.
Findlay was named Conservative candidate for Delta-Richmond East last Friday after Delta Board of Education chair Dale Saip was asked to resign by the party when his past financial troubles came to light.
At the March 21 snap nomination meeting, Saip finished with 78 votes, while second-place Findlay received 66 votes after four counts of the single-transferable ballots.
“Anyone would prefer to win smoothly,” Findlay said, but added she is “excited about the opportunity now.”
Just two days after Saip’s win, court records of his past financial woes were dropped off anonymously at The Richmond Review’s offices, a sister paper of The South Delta Leader.
They indicated Saip once filed for bankruptcy and on another occasion sought protection from his creditors.
Saip said his personal bankruptcy and issues with the Canada Revenue Agency have long ago been resolved.
And he disclosed all of that information to the party prior to receiving a waiver by the federal Conservatives that made him eligible at last Monday’s constituency association nomination meeting.
Asked if anyone in her camp leaked the court documents to the media, Findlay replied, “Absolutely not. I became aware of it along with everybody else.”
Findlay declared bankruptcy herself in 2001, due in part to her legal fight with the federal government and Musqueam Indian Band over leaseholder compensation. She had advocated on behalf of South Vancouver residents involved in the late 1990s land dispute, an issue which went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
She said her past bankruptcy would have no impact on her ability to serve as MP.
“It was a decade ago and it was a very isolated issue. I was the victim of Liberal federal government decisions and our family wasn’t the only one,” she said.
—with files from Martin van den Hemel