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Parksville-Qualicum Liberals prepare to nominate provincial candidate

Two candidates have emerged in the nomination race for the Parkville-Qualicum Liberal constituency since current MLA Ron Cantelon announced he would not pursue a third term in May’s provincial election.

Paralympic champion Michelle Stilwell, of Nanoose Bay, has officially made the nomination list, as has Patrick Chénier, of Errington.

While a newcomer to the world of politics, Stilwell is no stranger to rising to the challenge of a good race.

After returning from the London Paralympic games with a gold and silver medal from the 200-metre and 100-metre wheelchair sprints earlier this year, the City of Parksville dedicated Sept. 23 as Michelle Stilwell day.

Stilwell is also the first person in Parksville’s history to be awarded a key to the city.

“It’s something I have been thinking about for several years but athletics has always taken precedence,” said Stilwell, of her foray into politics. “I know I am a hard worker and determined and when I set a goal I do my best to achieve it.”

Chénier holds a master’s degree in education but has worked in the financial services industry.

He served as an appointed trustee on the Greater Victoria Public Library board, president of a local resident association and a board member of Sport B.C.

Chénier was also a municipal candidate for Saanich council and Capital Regional District director, although unsuccessful, in 2005 and 2008.

“These experiences have enabled me to connect with community members, think strategically and take concrete actions in finding solutions. It takes listening, hearing what is important and bringing people together to achieve desired results,” said Chénier, in a news release. “I bring a passion and dedication to my roles in the community.”

The 40th British Columbia general election is schedule for May 14.

The Parksville-Qualicum Liberal Constituency holds its nomination meeting Tuesday (Jan. 8) in Parksville.

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