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Conservation voters gunning for ‘Dirty Gary’ Lunn

Foes of the Tories’ Natural Resources minister call him ‘Dirty Gary’ Lunn, given his enthusiasm for mega-tankers, oil sands and nuclear reactors. But if Lunn’s three enviro-friendly opponents split the vote in Saanich-Gulf Islands riding, he likely goes back to Ottawa.

Enter The Conservation Voters of B.C., a non-partisan, pro-environment group that seeks to play kingmaker by endorsing and organizing for candidates in key ridings.

Lunn’s riding will likely be one of them, says Christianne Wilhelmson, chair of the CVBC board.

Running against Lunn are: Briony Penn (Liberals); Julian West (NDP), and Andrew Lewis (Greens). As The Tyee reports in today’s cover story, all three have strong environmental credentials.

So who will the Conservation Voters throw their weight behind?

Asked who the best person to beat Lunn would be, Wilhelmson said, “That's a good question. There are two strong people.”

Lewis has done well in past elections, she said, but Penn's views and commitment are well known. “I suspect Briony has a bit more on the record.” Asked about West, Wilhelmson said she hadn't heard of him.

When Penn was asked who the CVBC would endorse, her eyes lit up and she gave a wide smile. “I don't know, but I have a pretty good suspicion.”

Meanwhile, at a September 12 event at the University of Victoria with Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, climate scientist Andrew Weaver pledged support for Dion's global warming plan, as did local environmental writers and activists Guy Dauncey and David Boyd.

Andrew MacLeod is Victoria Bureau Chief for The Tyee.

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