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Women’s vote eyed in Chilliwack

BC Liberals are hosting a “Women’s Dialogue with Premier Christy Clark” Thursday in Chilliwack.

But outgoing Chilliwack MLA John Les says it doesn’t mean a battle is shaping up for the female vote in the riding, despite comments made by BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix at Saturday’s nomination meeting where Patti MacAhonic was elected candidate.

“No, I don’t think so,” Les said, about a contest in Chilliwack for the female vote. “The Premier has been doing these around the province. This certainly isn’t the first one.”

“I think it’s something we haven’t done before, obviously,” he added. “I’m mindful of the fact the polls are telling us there’s a demographic there we need to connect with.”

Both MacAhonic and Gwen O’Mahony, the NDP MLA elected in a byelection in Chilliwack-Hope last April, have been exhorting party members to “make history” in the May 14, 2013 general election by winning the two Chilliwack ridings long held by the BC Liberals — and to win them with female candidates.

Dix told the Saturday nomination crowd that “it’s going to be a satisfying day in May” when “two dynamic, courageous women” are elected in the two Chilliwack ridings.

But Les called Dix’s victory prediction “premature because you will find not only will Patti MacAhonic not be elected, but Gwen O’Mahony will lose her seat.”

“It would be astonishing beyond belief if Chilliwack of all places returns one NDP MLA, never mind elects two in the general election,” he said.

Les is not running for re-election in the Chilliwack riding. John Martin is taking his place as the BC Liberal candidate in the riding. Laurie Throness is the BC Liberal candidate in Chilliwack-Hope.

The Jan. 24 event with Premier Clark is being held in the Rosedale Room at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel on First Avenue.

Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. and guests are asked to RSVP by 3 p.m. Jan. 22. by email at john.les.mla@leg.bc.ca or by calling 604-702-5214.

Tickets are $20 at the door, with lunch included.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

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