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Two FVRD directors making NDP nomination bids

Wendy Bales and Dennis Adamson, electoral area directors at the Fraser Valley Regional District, are running for NDP nominations in Chilliwack and in Abbotsford-Mission.

If Bales wins the nomination in Abbotsford-Mission, she could go toe-to-toe with BC Liberal MLA Randy Hawes, if he decides to run for re-election in the May 14 provincial election.

Bales has been an outspoken critic of a regional gravel removal plan spearheaded by Hawes at the FVRD.

Adamson, also a critic of the gravel plan, could go toe-to-toe with Chilliwack MLA John Les, if Les decides to run for re-election.

But both NDP nomination candidates, Bales from the Lake Errock area and Adamson from the Yale area, say they are not one-issue candidates and are familiar with the issues facing urban area residents.

“I’ve been working hard on community issues, not just one thing, over the last decade, and not just in my neighbourhood, but in Abby-Mission too,” Bales said.

Bales was involved in the public opposition that defeated a P3 water facility in Abbotsford, and has taken an active part in reversing the “downgrading” of the Mission hospital.

“The hospital went from being one of the two best to being a shell of what it used to be,” she said.

But Bales acknowledged she has an “uphill” battle for the NDP nomination as candidate Preet Rai has a head start in the campaign.

Rai was vetted by the party executive in July while Bales is just starting that process.

A third candidate, Lynn Perrin, stepped down Sunday as president of the NDP’s riding association in Abbotsford-Mission to make her bid for the nomination.

The challenge for the candidates now is to sign up as many new party members as they can to bring with them to the nomination meeting. No date has been set for that meeting.

Kirsten Hauge, president of the Chilliwack riding association, could not be reached for comment on the status of the nomination race here.

Although Adamson represents the Yale area at the FVRD board, the candidate said he is “very familiar” with the issues facing Chilliwack residents like the closure of the hospital rehab unit, and the impact of waste-to-energy facilities under consideration by Metro Vancouver.

Adamson said his involvement with political and day-to-day financial issues at the FVRD since 2008 has given him a wide range of experience, but now he wants to carry that forward to the provincial government level as MLA.

“The policy stuff that drives our economy and decides our lifestyle is provincial,” he said.

“I want to be in a position so I can help build a better world.”

Neither Hawes nor Les have decided yet if they will run for re-election.

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