The candidates in Nanaimo-Cowichan
With a total population of more than 125,000 people (based on 2001 data) and nearly 100,000 eligible voters, the electoral district includes Nanaimo, Ladysmith, North Cowichan, Duncan, Regional District of Nanaimo electoral areas A and B, and Cowichan Valley Regional District electoral areas A, B, C and E.
Jean Crowder of the NDP has held the riding since 2004, winning the last election in 2008 with 27,454 votes (45.2 per cent) over Reed Elley of the Conservatives who received 22,884 ballots (37.6 per cent).
Christina Knighton of the Green Party was a distant third with 5,816 votes (9.6 per cent), while the Liberals’ Brian Scott received 4,483 (7.4 per cent).
Crowder has held the riding for the New Democrats since 2004, earning re-election in 2006 and 2008.
Last election she beat former Conservative MP Reed Elley (1997-2004) by some 4,500 votes.
The former North Cowichan councillor is the NDP’s federal critic for Aboriginal Affairs and is vice-chairwoman of the Aboriginal Affairs committee.
Koury managed Reed Elley’s campaign in 2008 and this time has Elley managing his campaign. He ran in 2004 as the Conservative candidate in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.
The North Cowichan councillor lives in Maple Bay and is corporate director for the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants and the Canadian Migration Institute.
Anne Marie Benoit
Benoit grew up in New Brunswick and moved to B.C. with her family in 1996 and Nanaimo in 1998.
A student of social sciences at Vancouver Island University, Benoit is also involved with community organizations such as the Haven Store, the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, Wheels in Motion, Operation Red Nose as well as the VIU Students’ Union.