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Vancouver Granville candidates: Erinn Broshko (CPC), Mira Oreck (NDP), Jody Wilson-Raybould (LPC), Michael Barkusky (Green)
What's happening in this battleground riding?
Leadnow has recommended voting for New Democratic Party candidate Mira Oreck over Liberal candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould in the Vancouver Granville riding in order to defeat the Harper Conservatives.
The recent endorsement of Oreck has been contested by many including the Liberals and Wilson-Raybould after recent polls have shown the Liberal candidate in the lead.
In three local polls commissioned by Leadnow between August and October, the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP were neck and neck and neck, each with about 30 per cent of the vote in the new riding.
However, the most recent Leadnow poll shows Wilson-Raybould slightly ahead of the Oreck. After being in the lead in August and September, Oreck dropped to 33 per cent while Wilson-Raybould moved to 35 per cent.
According to the riding projections on threehundredeight.com, Vancouver Granville is currently leaning closer to the Liberals over the NDP, with the Conservatives in third place.
Liberal communications official Mike Witherly called the decision "a little puzzling" in an interview with The Tyee.
Leadnow decided on Thursday Oct. 15 which candidate would be best to defeat the Conservatives, after a poll showed the NDP and Liberals in a statistical tie in the riding.
The Vote Together website provides information on which local candidate has the best chance at defeating a Conservative. According to Amara Possian, campaign manager for Vote Together, they have raised over 100,000 dollars to commission local polls.
"Our goal is to bring people together for a strong democracy, a fair economy and a clean environment and we think that defeating Harper is a necessary first step," Possian said.
With over 5,300 pledges to strategically vote in the riding, and 250 people showing up to canvass on a single day, Vancouver Granville is one of Vote Together's "strongest campaigns," explained Possian.
Leadnow reached out to the 5,300 people who had pledged to vote strategically, asking if they wanted to endorse a candidate or not -- which they had not done in other ridings.
Of the people who answered, 96 per cent said 'yes' to recommending a candidate, and 60.7 per cent endorsed the NDP's Mira Oreck.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, has also endorsed Oreck. He has also endorsed Tom Mulcair as prime minister.
Vote Together has focused on Conservative swing ridings, which Possian defines as ridings where either the Conservatives won by a margin of less than 15 per cent or a non-Conservative incumbent won by less than five per cent and a Conservative finished second.
With vote redistribution within the new electoral boundary, the Conservatives would have won Vancouver Granville, with the NDP, Greens and Liberals splitting the opposition vote, according to Possian.
"I think a lot of people feel very strongly about a desire to replace Harper," said Oreck.
Issues in Vancouver Granville
According to Oreck, people she has met in Vancouver Granville are letting go of old political allegiances, and there's lots of open-minded momentum to defeat Harper.
She said that NDP plans to support battles for affordability -- from child care to transit to housing -- are resonating with locals.
According to Oreck, the NDP would invest in almost every form of housing.
She said they would provide tax incentives for rental and affordable housing, sign operating agreements with co-operatives, and not shy away from social housing.
In an earlier press release, the NDP said they would, "provide incentives for the construction of 10,000 affordable and market rental housing units," though no timeline was stated.
She also said the NDP would implement a National Housing Strategy, something that does not currently exist.
"The issues around affordability are huge in Vancouver," added Oreck.
With news breaking that Liberal Party campaign chair Dan Gagnier was advising pipeline company TransCanada Corporation on how and when to lobby a government, Oreck said the NDP represent a clear break from the old boys club.
Oreck is not surprised that the Liberal's campaign chair was involved with TransCanada, and said it matches up historically with the Liberal's actions.
She echoes current NDP MP Megan Leslie's post that "The Liberals have not broken their habits of scandal and elitism."
Tyson Kelsall is a freelance writer. Follow him online @TysonKelsall.
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