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First provincial Liberal candidate steps forward

The race to replace Ted Nebbeling has started for the B.C. Liberals with the announcement of the first candidate.

The race to replace Ted Nebbeling has started for the B.C. Liberals with the announcement of the first candidate.

Former West Vancouver-Garibaldi constituency president and public opinion research professional Joan McIntyre Pottinger declared her candidacy for the party's nomination Tuesday (Sept. 21).

The riding, which includes part of West Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton, has been represented since 1996 by Nebbeling, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.

"This government has made huge strides in preparing and repairing the province economically and I want to help follow through on this progress and see the rewards flowing through to the families, the seniors and the children who make up our communities," Pottinger said.

Pottinger, founder of the well-known polling company McIntyre & Mustel Research Associates, has been a member of the West Vancouver-Garibaldi Const-ituency Association executive since 1996 and served as president of the association from 1997 to 2003. She has lived in the riding since 1983, first in Lions Bay and for the past 16 years in West Vancouver. She also owns a condominium in Whistler.

She cited "a lifelong interest in public affairs and public policy" as her reason for seeking the nomination. "I thought it was time to sort of step up into the public forum."

Current riding association president Dave Davenport, touted by some as a possible candidate for the nomination himself, welcomed Pottinger's candidacy, saying "Joan has worked tirelessly with both head and heart, behind the scenes, for this constituency for more than 10 years. Over that time she has really come to know the people and the issues of the entire Sea to Sky corridor from West Vancouver to Pemberton."

Davenport confirmed to The Chief Thursday (Sept. 23) that he would not be seeking the nomination.

Pottinger has also been endorsed by John Haibeck, CEO of Whistler Railtours, for her familiarity with Whistler and the issues connected with the 2010 Winter Olympics, as well as Thomas Marshall, president of the B.C. Young Liberals.

The constituency association has not yet set a date for a nomination meeting for the riding. Davenport said the meeting will likely be held sometime between the end of November and the end of January.

The vote will be open to members of the B.C. Liberal Party in West Vancouver-Garibaldi and Pottinger said there will likely be polling stations in Whistler and Squamish as well as West Vancouver.

The next provincial election is set for May 17, 2005.

Pottinger has been making attempts to raise her profile in Squamish, participating in the Squamish Sikh Society's 400th anniversary of the Guru Garanth Sahib last Sunday (Sept. 12) as well as the Waterfront Community Celebration last Friday (Sept. 17). She also addressed the local Rotary Club yesterday (Sept. 23).

"'I'm getting very good feedback," she said. "I think it's really important I get a good understanding of the local issues.

"Squamish is a very important part of the corridor and my eye is on the corridor. I know it's the 'Heart of 2010'."