Paul Forseth seeks Conservative nomination for Burnaby-New Westminster

Former Conservative MP Paul Forseth in his Office
Former Conservative MP Paul Forseth in his Office

Well this may not be NEW news as I have seen it reported elsewhere but a conversation today with former Conservative Party New Westminster-Coquitlam MP Paul Forseth confirms that he is seeking the nomination of his party for the next-door riding of Burnaby-New Westminster, where he is a resident.

Procedural difficulty barred him from competing for the nomination of his old riding, a contest concluded this past July by the nomination of Diana Dilworth. While some suspected that shrewd moves led to the nomination process there occurring whilst Forseth was overseas in France (preventing him from filing papers according to the EDA regulations) the four-term former Reform and Conservative MP insists the difficulties were only procedural and not politically motivated.

While a by-election may have been scheduled in the New West-Coquitlam riding (made vacant when NDP MP Dawn Black moved from federal to provincial politics last May), it is expected that a general election will be called soon due to a vote of non -confidence in the current Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Forseth, echoing the Prime Minister,  told me that is is time to deliver a majority Conservative Parliament to Ottawa, so the business of government can continue.

No other nomination candidates have declared themselves for the Burnaby-New Westminster riding. Forseth comments that while he expects to see one or two others vie for the position, he hopes no one else will.

The Burnaby-New Westminster riding is currently held by NDP MP Peter Julian, who was re-elected with a wide margin in October 2008

UPDATE: As reported on Burnaby Politics (Blog), the Conservative Party nomination for the riding of Burnaby-New Westminster will be contested by Andrew Radia, described as :

a young businessman and columnist. Radia, a first generation Canadian, ran with Coquitlam First in the 2005 municipal election, finishing in 19th place.

Conservative Nomination Update for New West-Coquitam Riding

Two contestant meetings have been organized by the Electoral District Association for the Conservative party; all candidate events for the upcoming Conservative Party nomination on July 25th.

The first event will be held between 6:30PM-8:30PM at the Justice Institute Theater, 715 McBride Boulevard, New Westminster. The second event will be Wednesday, July 15th between 6:30PM and 8:30PM in the MacDonald-Cartier Room of the Dogwood Pavilion, 624 Poirier Street, Coquitlam. As previously reported, four candidates are up for the nomination: Diana Dilworth of Port Moody, Mark Lea-McKeown of Coquitlam, Andy Wickey of Coquitlam and New Westminster`s very own Lorraine Brett.

Conservative Party EDA Website at

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Local Tories Set to Pick Candidate for New West-Coquitlam

Canadian Conservative officials from the New West-Coquitlam electoral district association report that four candidates will vie for the Conservative nomination in that riding including:

Lorraine Brett, New Westminster

Diana Dilworth, Port Moody

Mark Lea-McKeown, Coquitlam

Andy Wickey, Coquitlam

The Royal City’s own Lorraine Brett has been a former candidate for city councilor, Queens Park RA chair, long-time Hyack Committiee member and has been involved with a host of community initiatives:

Our region will benefit from a strong voice at the government table, and I want to be that voice. As a communications consultant, I know that we are competing with dozens of regions across Canada for attention, and we tell our story in a compelling and convincing way. I know our area and can tell our story effectively.

Andy Wickey from Coquitlam is a Sri Lankan Canadian with a background in business and engineering. Mark Lea-McKeown of Coquitlam is on the Riding Association executive and Diana Dilworth is a Port Moody Councillor.

Absent from the list of nominees is Paul Forseth of New Westminster, former MP. It has been reported that Forseth was not able to submit paperwork in time. Other accounts report that he had removed his name for nomination.

“We have a strong and diverse field of candidates vying for the nomination in this pivotal riding,” said EDA President Gary Mauser. “I look forward to winning back the New Westminster Coquitlam-Port Moody district for the Conservatives.”

Conservative Party members can look forward to the conclusion of this contest on July 25th, 2009 and two all candidates events are scheduled for July 14th in New West and on July 16th in Port Moody. Details may be found on the recently launched electoral association website.

A by-election may be called to elect a new MP as the riding became vacant when NDP Dawn Black successfully ran as a provincial MLA this last Spring. While the by election could happen as soon as late August, it may also not happen as late as early 2010, or be subsumed by a general election.

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Yonah Martin nabs Senate seat


Former Conservative candidate in New Westminster-Coquitlam Yonah Martin is among the three newly appointed senators from B.C. 

Here’s the quick version of her bio on the CBC story:

Yonah Martin is a Coquitlam schoolteacher who has been active in the Korean-Canadian community. She served on the Multicultural Advisory Council of B.C. and ran as a Conservative candidate in the constituency of New Westminster-Coquitlam in the last election, but lost by 1,500 votes to NDP incumbent Dawn Black.

This round of Senate picks is controversial because Prime Minister Stephen Harper has always insisted that senators should be elected, not appointed. The CBC explains:


The prime minister, again heading a minority government, said he filled the vacancies to prevent a potential Liberal-NDP coalition from getting the opportunity.

He had held off filling the 18 vacancies in hopes of reforming the Senate to make sure members are elected, but he has been unable to pass any legislation to that effect.