She’s back — again.
Less than a month after losing her bid to become the B.C. Liberals’ candidate for the riding of Vancouver-Quilchena, Suzanne Anton is now the party’s candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview.
“I like politics,” said Anton, a former NPA park board commissioner and city councillor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in the 2011 civic election. “I was asked most persuasively by the riding association. I did not go looking for it. But once they asked me and I thought about it, it is for me a good fit.”
Anton’s political career seemed all but over Feb. 17 after lawyer and former provincial deputy minister Andrew Wilkinson defeated her in the nomination race in Vancouver-Quilchena.
The party has yet to formally acclaim Anton but announced her candidacy in a press release Tuesday. In the release, riding president Jagdeep Sanghera said Anton has “a proven track record with Fraserview voters.”
Anton, a longtime Dunbar resident, emphasized her roots in Vancouver-Quilchena during her speech at last month’s nomination meeting.
But she told the Courier Tuesday that her time as a park board commissioner and city councillor included working on behalf of Vancouver-Fraserview residents. She said she pushed for more sports fields, green space and was involved in council’s planning of the East Fraserlands.
“I always paid attention to the whole of the Fraser River side of the city,” said Anton, noting she was the only councillor during her service who lived on the south side of Vancouver.
Vancouver-Fraserview is currently held by Liberal Kash Heed, a former high-ranking Vancouver police officer and chief of the West Vancouver Police Department. Heed is not seeking re-election.
The riding is one of the most ethnically diverse in the city, with a high percentage of residents whose mother tongue is Chinese and Punjabi, according to a 2006 Elections B.C. profile of Vancouver-Fraserview.
Anton’s run in the riding comes as the Liberals are mired in the so-called “ethnicgate,” a controversy that erupted after a memo from the party outlining a strategy to woo ethnic voters was obtained by the opposition NDP and released to reporters.
Anton will face NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu, a businessman and media commentator who lives in the riding. Yiu ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2009 against Heed.
The Liberals have won the riding three times since 2001, with Ken Johnston, Wally Oppal and Heed taking the party to victory.
The provincial election is May 14.