Vancouver-Langara riding prepares for election

New candidates look to end firm grip on Langara riding

Voters line up at the Vancouver-Langara advanced voting station. Rui Yang Xu photo
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By Tyson Burrows

For the first time in three decades, the NDP has a chance to wrest away the Liberal stranglehold on the Vancouver-Langara riding.

Since its creation just prior to the 1991 provincial election, the Vancouver-Langara riding has been a Liberal stronghold but could see a shift to John Horgan’s NDP, should the party’s current popularity hold out.

Incumbent MLA Michael Lee, seeking to defend the Liberals’ reign, won in 2017 by the smallest margin since the creation of the riding. 

Meanwhile, the NDP’s popularity continues to grow in B.C., partly due to its handling of the pandemic.

Stephen Phillips, coordinator of Langara’s political science department, said the riding tends to vote in groups defined by their demographic.

“There are parts of the riding that habitually vote Liberal and other areas that are fairly staunchly NDP,” Phillips said. 

Lee, who did not respond to three interview requests by The Voice, has centred his campaign on maintaining a “healthy, sustainable, and safe community.”

NDP candidate Tesicca Truong is promising a government that will better represent a changing Canada, amid climate change, a seemingly endless opioid crisis and the dearth of affordable housing in the province. 

“We need intergenerational leadership to guide us and make sure this province is prepared for a rapidly changing world,” said Truong, who would become the youngest serving MLA in B.C. if elected, as well as the first of Vietnamese descent.

Phillips worried with its current popularity, NDP-leaning voters could become complacent while Liberal-leaning voters could be demoralized.

Voters may think “we’re going to fail [or] we’re going to win anyway, so they don’t need my vote,” he said.

Trying to make headway is Green candidate Stephanie Hendy, a champion of equity who is unafraid her opinions might differ from her party’s. Currently a disability case manager, she wants to represent people of lower socioeconomic status, and people with disabilities.

“Let’s help the people that are most disadvantaged first,” Hendy said, “I would like to make tuition free for those who have demonstrated financial need.”

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