Provincial New Democrat vice-president and former party leadership candidate Craig Keating is considering seeking the nomination in North Vancouver-Lonsdale, a riding previously held by leftie political commentator David Schreck. During the leadership race, the talented Mr. Keating, a centrist city councillor and Langara College history instructor, was best known for his ability to create an incredible amount of smoke with very little kindling - delivering firebrand speeches while standing on a paper-thin campaign platform. Half-way through the race, he dropped out to endorse former MLA Leonard Krog (even going so far as to second his nomination). But, when Mr. Krog's convention speech failed to meet expectations (and competitor Carole James came out in front on the first ballot), Mr. Keating put on a James scarf - a move that irked some party members.
Mr. Keating will be likely running against Cathy Pinsent, a member of the Hospital Employees' Union provincial executive and shop steward at Lions Gate Hospital, and federal New Democrat North Vancouver candidate John Nelson.
Mr. Nelson, who has worked as a researcher and writer for the David Suzuki Foundation, the Sierra Club of British Columbia, and BC Wild, lost the riding but managed to earn 15 percent of the popular vote - ten points more than his predecessor Sam Schechter (who, at one point, was a member of Mr. Keating’s leadership campaign team). This would be what some would charitably call a morale victory.
North Vancouver-Lonsdale is currently held by Liberal backbencher Katherine Whittred, who won the riding in 1996 with 46 percent of the vote - beating out Mr. Schreck by 10 points.