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Newcomer to replace deceased BC Lib in Van-Hastings

Political newcomer Haida Lane announced her bid for Vancouver-Hastings yesterday, taking over the candidacy from recently deceased BC Liberal candidate Andrew Mak.

“I’m definitely new to running as an MLA,” she said. “But I’m not new to the community.”

Lane works for real estate organization Colliers International and has years of volunteer experience in the riding, she said. She also chaired the Hastings-Sunrise CityPlan Committee, which put her in touch with pressing local issues.

Even so, Lane might have a tough fight ahead of her. The newly announced Liberal candidate is up against New Democratic Party environment critic Shane Simpson.

In 2005, he beat Liberal challenger Laura McDiarmid by over 4,800 votes and many consider Vancouver-Hastings a Dipper stronghold. It was one of only two ridings to elect an NDP MLA during the party’s 2001 election blow-out.

“I know it’s an NDP riding, but this is such a unique time,” Lane said, alluding to the recession. “I fully expect to win.”

Novice Liberal candidate Mak died of a heart attack about a week before the writ dropped. Lane said the party approached her recently to take his spot.

Immigrants make up 45 per cent of a largely working class population, according to the 2006 census.

Geoff Dembicki reports for The Tyee.

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