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Federal NDP candidate announced

NDP candidate Bill Forst to compete against 'dyed in the wool Conservatives'

Three federal parties are now ready to vie for the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky riding in the event of a federal election, with the New Democratic Party's nomination of Gibsons resident Bill Forst on Saturday (Oct. 17).

Forst ran in the 2008 election against Liberal Ian Sutherland, Green Party member Blair Wilson and Conservative John Weston who won the riding. He returns to contrast what he calls the Conservative ideals of both Weston and newly-acclaimed Liberal candidate Daniel Veniez.

"I believe that I represent a clear contrast from the other two candidates, both of whom are dyed in the wool Conservatives," he said in the release. "[Daniel Veniez] was a member of the Conservative Party just a few months ago. While he wears the Liberal banner now, it is clear from his statements that he is more aligned with the old Progressive Conservative party ideology."

Veniez was unavailable for comment by press time.

Forst went on to question Weston and his party's ethics, with recent news of contentious presentation of government funds.

"[Weston's] most recent activities have been handing out community infrastructure cheques printed in Tory blue, and carrying Weston's signature, a clear violation of government ethics guidelines."

When asked for a response to Forst's statements, Weston focused on the positive.

"Bill Forst is an honourable man, and I think he will effectively articulate messages of big government and higher taxes that I've been hearing in the House."

Weston noted the Conservative government has supported the people of his riding by furthering several avenues of local economic development including but not limited to water filtration development, the 2010 Olympics and seniors issues.

Sixty-year-old Forst said he can also understand some of the issues that may concern people on "the other side of the age boundary."

"There are a lot of healthy retired people, and they will be looking at issues of health care, issues for seniors, seniors recreation opportunities and many of them like me, are concerned about the future of our grandchildren," he said.

"I think I've lived more the kind of life and am currently living the kind of life that many of the people in our community identify with," said the former school counsellor.

Forst's next appearance takes place in Squamish, tonight at 7 p.m. at a general NDP meeting at the Howe Sound Teachers Association hall located at 38161 Second Ave.

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