Last week, the North Shore News's Trevor Lautens speculated former CTV News Vancouver anchor Pamela Martin or West Vancouver Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones might seek the Liberal nomination in West Vancouver-Capilano. That's one of the safest seats in the province for British Columbia's governing party. But, in a letter sent to party members last month, the constituency's sitting Liberal MLA Ralph Sultan declared he intends to "run again to represent you in the provincial legislature." In that letter, Mr. Sultan - who backed George Abbott during the Liberal leadership race - also stressed his support for Premier Christy Clark, along with his business credentials and "blue-collar Swedish...social democratic instincts." The following is a complete copy of its text, which was exclusively obtained by Public Eye.
West Vancouver-Capilano Riding Association
PO Box 91848 West Vancouver Post Office
West Vancouver, BC V7V 4S1
April 11, 2011
Welcome to the larger and rejuvenated BC Liberal Party! I have proudly represented West Vancouver-Capilano for almost ten years. I'd like to share with you some early impressions of where our Party is now headed.
We have a new Premier, Christy Clark, and a policy path focused on Families First and Balanced Budgets. I'm pleased to be working alongside her and our BC Liberal team. We have a lot of work ahead of us. The HST referendum is on June 24th, which I urge you to support. We may also have an early election, perhaps in September or even earlier.
I intend to run again to represent you in the provincial legislature. It is important that the values and agendas of the citizens of West Vancouver-Capilano are heard and respected.
Many of you are already familiar with my non-political career. I grew up in Vancouver, and I received my engineering degree at UBC. I went on to earn an MBA and PhD in economics at Harvard and I became a professor at the Harvard Business School. I was also the Chief Economist at The Royal Bank of Canada. I worked in the mining industry, owned and operated a mutual fund company and headed a joint venture to build a fibreboard mill.
I was first elected as the MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano in 2001. I've authored several reports focused on the health and welfare of our province (childhood obesity, childhood poverty and my local constituent survey of issues in our health system) as well as studies targeting the competitiveness of our provincial economy (mining task force report and a securities regulation report).
I am an avid supporter of the BC Liberal's fiscal conservatism, low tax policy, spending restraint, and efficiency in government; but also a supporter of such ministries as Children and Families and Advanced Education since these institutions are trying to assure the building blocks of our future.
What Do I Hope to Do in the Future?
I am pledged to help Premier Christy Clark succeed. She is bright, ambitious, full of ideas, experienced, a great communicator and a shrewd politician In the leadership contest just weeks ago, she swept a majority of ridings in the province. You, as one of the 1,900 members of the BC Liberal Party in West Vancouver-Capilano, were more inclined to favour Kevin Falcon and George Abbott but now is time to rally around our new Leader and our new Premier.
The imperative to "rally around" is all the more essential with the emergence of a more credible provincial Conservative Party in British Columbia. Preservation of the BC Liberal coalition of persons of right, left, and centre persuasions is essential to prevent this province, which has arduously climbed back from the lost years under Harcourt-Clark-Dosanjh, from slipping back into the pit. Well-meaning Provincial Conservatives could facilitate that calamitous outcome in the next provincial election.
You may rest assured that as an active alumnus of the Harvard Business School, and as an active alumnus of the banking, financial and mining worlds, conservatives of West Vancouver-Capilano should sleep easy that their perspective is being preserved and advanced by me in Victoria.
At the same time, you should also be aware that my blue-collar Swedish upbringing has imbedded in my soul strong social democratic instincts, and it would be inaccurate to suggest I do not believe there is need for a strong government role in health care, education and assistance to the disadvantage such as immigrants and single mothers.
You can learn more about the work that I have done and keep in touch with me through my website: http://www.ralphsultanmla.ca
So again, welcome to the larger, newer edition BC Liberal Party of West Vancouver-Capilano! I look forward to continuing my work on your behalf.
Ralph Sultan, MLA