Conservative ballot to be branded by Wilks

MP David Wilks has been acclaimed as the Conservative nominee for the federal riding of Kootenay-Columbia


MP David Wilks has been acclaimed as the Conservative nominee for the federal riding of Kootenay-Columbia, which has grown to include Nelson, Salmo, and Laslo,

“I was expecting a little competition,” Mr. Wilks told The Valley Echo.

After the Kootenay-Columbia Conservative nomination committee conducted their lone interview with Mr. Wilks, the members unanimously approved.

“The district association now declares that our current MP David Wilks is acclaimed the candidate for the next election,” reads a press release from the Kootenay-Columbia Conservative Association.

Because of growth to the local electoral boundaries, the nomination process saw more party members invited to contest Mr. Wilks. While internal competition for the nomination can be healthy, “We as Conservatives stand united and move forward behind the MP,” said Fairmont resident and party member Doug Clovechok. “I think it would have been hard to defeat David anyway for the position.”

The Kootenay-Columbia riding was declared in a landslide victory after the 2011 federal election, with Mr. Wilks grabbing 23,910 votes (55.88 per cent). Mark Shmigelsky of the New Democratic Party placing second with 14,199 votes (33.18 per cent), while the Greens, Liberals, and an independent split the remaining 4,679 votes. The riding had a 63.45 per cent turnout.

Mr. Wilks said the riding is currently around 20,000 constituents, short of the 105,000 to 109,000 average.

Similar to the 2011 election, next year’s campaign issues will focus largely around jobs and economy, he said, but it also depends heavily what the Liberals and NDP will bring forward with their platforms.

Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair has been effective at holding the Conservative government accountable while Liberal leader Trudeau hasn’t presented much of a platform aside from his promise to legalize marijuana, Mr. Wilks said.

Voting is expected to happen on Monday, October 19th, 2015, unless the Queen or Governor General call an election sooner (normally done upon the request of the Prime Minister). After the redrawn boundaries take effect next year, the House of Commons will increase its number of seats from 308 to 338.