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Kash Heed to run in Fraserview: Sun

Former West Vancouver police chief Kash Heed will announce this week he's running as a B.C. Liberal in the heavily ethnic riding of Vancouver-Fraserview, according to a report in today's Vancouver Sun.

Heed has been rumoured to be eying Vancouver-Fraserview since February, when he quit his job as chief of the West Vancouver Police Department. Those rumours intensified when Attorney-General Wally Oppal left the riding to run in Delta South.

The popular constable did not confirm the report, but told Sun reporter Jonathan Fowlie: "I can tell you a decision has been made... and that will be made public in a very short time."

The riding is by no means a safe seat for the B.C. Liberals.

Heed faces NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu in a riding where more than half of the residents are Chinese. South-Asians make up about a fifth. However, South Vancouver's Chinese voters have tended to vote B.C. Liberal, while the area's South Asian voters have tended to back the NDP. Thus Heed's entry into this race would create an interesting new dynamic in which identity politics would appear to be at odds with ethnic voting trends.

Yiu is expected to benefit from the backing of former Vision Vancouver council candidate Kashmir Dhaliwal, who lives nearby and is a veteran NDP organizer. The area was heavily organized by Vision in advance of the November 2008 municipal election.

Heed is expected to benefit from the participation of Green Party candidate Jodie Emery, a drug rights activist who has previously run for the B.C. Marijuana Party. The Fraserview riding is dominated by extended families who strongly oppose liberal drug laws. Heed worked as an officer in the Vancouver police force for almost three decades prior to taking the West Van chief's job. If the 2005 result were to repeat, the Emery would claim 6.6 percent of the vote; the margin by which Heed would beat Yiu is only 5 per cent.

The riverfront riding stretches from Fraser Street to Boundary Road, with a jagged northern boundary along 45th, 41st and 49th streets.

Monte Paulsen reports on politics and policy for The Tyee.

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