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BC Conservatives add new candidates to election roster

A log-scaler, youth counsellor, and riding association president were added to the BC Conservative Party's election roster today, and the additions bring fresh competition and a new option for three ridings -- none of which saw Conservative candidates run in 2009.

Forestry worker Michael Beauclair will represent the party in Fraser-Nicola, it was announced this morning. Beauclair studied log-scaling at BCIT and has worked in forestry for the past 15 years.

He'll face incumbent NDP MLA Harry Lali, who represented the old riding of Yale-Lilloet for several terms. Ashcroft councillor and former head of BC School Trustees, Jackie Tegart, will represent the BC Liberals.

Nathaniel Lim is the Conservative candidate for Richmond East. Born in the Philippines, Lim emigrated to Canada at 12. Before entering social work as a youth counsellor, he was an aircraft electronics technician.

Lim will take on BC Liberal Linda Reid, who's had a solid grip on Richmond East since 1991. In 2009, she won 58 per cent of the vote, in 2005, 57 per cent, and in 2001, a crushing 69 per cent. The NDP chose the party's Richmond East constituency association president Gian Sihota to represent them in the riding. The Greens chose engineer Ping Chan, who's also the chief executive director of the Richmond Federal Green Party Association.

Ed Fehr, the party's riding association president for Kamloops-North Thompson, will "carry the ‪#BCConservative‬ Party banner into May's election," Kamloops Conservative regional director Alan Forseth announced on Twitter this afternoon.

The riding has gone to the Liberals in every election since 1996, with current Liberal Environment Minister Terry Lake as the incumbent MLA. Still, in 2009 it was notably close: Lake won with 46.94 per cent of the vote to second-place NDP candidate Doug Brown's 44.5 per cent. The NDP chose Kamloops lawyer Kathy Kendall to run in the riding this election.

The Conservatives have nominated approximately 30 candidates to date.

Robyn Smith reports for The Tyee.

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