On June 18, Squamish became the site for the Green Party members to choose their candidate for the 2019 federal election: Dana Taylor or Lars Guignard.
By the end of the evening, the party announced Taylor as the official Green Party West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky candidate.
“We’re ready to go. It’s pretty exciting, there’s lots ahead of us,” Taylor said.
When he was nominated, Taylor said he felt “certainly gratitude, but also some relief. I had this in my sights for some time.”
At first, Taylor appeared to be the only person interested in running as the Green Party candidate in the 2019 federal election.
Then Lars Guignard, a new face in politics, came forward and there had to be a contest.
“I think it was a learning experience. I think [Guignard] brought something different to the table. He’s certainly younger than I am and he brought a different kind of energy, and outlined some areas that are clearly sticking points for some members. That’s good. I can take from that, learn from that and bring it to the big table, as it were,” Taylor said.
Dana Taylor has been a resident of the West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky riding for more than 30 years. He has a background in the construction industry.
As a former North Vancouver city councilor and a member of the Save Howe Sound Society, he worked with the provincial government to change the environmental standards and put scrubbers on smoke stacks.
“I’ve been involved in environmental issues in the area for a long time,” he said with a laugh.
In 2017, Taylor also ran in the provincial election for this riding and came in second. He said he decided to run upon reading the proposal for Woodfibre LNG.
“I was active in the original clean up of Howe Sound many years ago. I felt that, as I looked into the proposal for the LNG plant itself, this was something that seemed to be counter to the interests of the evolution of the sound, which has been more towards other types of industry, particularly around recreation, ecotourism possibly. Frankly, the proposal for the sound was not conducive to that,” Taylor said.
The experience of running in a provincial election was a learning opportunity, Taylor added.
He now feels that he knows his riding more thoroughly, having become familiar with the issues it faces in each community during his previous campaign.
“Issues have, to me, remained the same for the corridor: their transportation, access to transportation, both public and roadways. Housing continues to be a concern that’s voiced universally everywhere, but specifically in areas like Squamish, further north too in the Whistler area. Those kind of linger as things the federal government may or may not be able to address depending on how those are approached,” he said, adding fishery conservation is also an issue.
Now that he’s the official candidate for the Green Party in the riding, next Taylor will be visiting the communities across the area.
“I’m going to be a roadie for a while,” Taylor said with a laugh, adding that he’s looking forward to it.
As of press deadline for this story, Taylor is the second confirmed candidate for the West Vancouver — Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky riding.
The first was the Conservative Party’s Gabrielle Loren.