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James blitzes Metro Vancouver on marathon tour

Carole James rallied voters to the polls and hammered her key themes as she campaigned a dawn-to-midnight marathon through riding-rich Metro Vancouver today.

“We’re energizing people, we’re saying thank-you to volunteers, and we’re reaching out to as many people as we can,” the B.C. New Democratic Party leader told reporters during a brief mid-morning break in Burnaby.

She began early this morning greeting transit workers in South Vancouver and is expected to campaign in more than a dozen Lower Mainland ridings by the time she wraps-up late tonight in Vancouver-West End.

As the election campaign enters its final days, James said her strategy will be a balance of continuing to hammer her message of change while ensuring supporters get out the vote next Tuesday.

“We want to make sure as we always do with New Democrats that we have people ready to vote, that we’re making sure our on-the-ground campaign is strong,” James said. “We do that by making sure people know that we have a positive vision for this province.”

She said she will focus on taking this message beyond her traditional base of support.

“I’m going to spend the next four days reaching out to everyone -- of all political stripes.”

The NDP leader was visibly upbeat when asked about yesterday’s Angus Reid poll that had her party neck-and-neck with the B.C. Liberals.

She predictably said the only poll that matters is on Election Day but used the opportunity to promote her get-out-the-vote message.

“The poll numbers all show that it’s going to be a very competitive election, and while politicians always say it, I think this time it will be accurate – every vote really is going to count.”

James said she was encouraged by reports of high voter turnout at advanced polls.

“I think that’s a positive sign. British Columbians have really been engaging over the last week with the campaign,” she said. “I’m excited.”

Garrett Zehr reports for The Tyee.

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