UPDATE: Paralympic champion acclaimed as candidate

NANAIMO - The B.C. Liberal Party has announced that Paralympic champion Michele Stilwell will be nominated to represent Parksville-Qualicum

Come this spring, four-time gold medal paralympian Michelle Stilwell will be in the race as the B.C. Liberals announced Thursday she will be the party’s candidate for Parksville-Qualicum in May’s provincial election.

According to a news release, Stilwell’s acclamation results from being the only candidate to submit a candidate application by the deadline established under the B.C. Liberal Party constitution.

“The next election will be a pivotal event in British Columbia’s history, and the B.C. Liberals have a bold vision for our great province that I want to be a part of,” said Stilwell.

Following a spinal injury at the age of 17, Stilwell established a motivational speaking company which has taken her across the continent, with the aim of enacting positive change and productivity amongst students and corporate employees. In 2010, Stilwell made the Vancouver Sun’s top 100 list of influential women in B.C.

Patrick Chenier, who previously notified the media of his intention to seek the riding’s Liberal nomination, sent out a news release Jan. 3 revoking the decision.

“The process has not been without challenges: the short timeline leading up to the nomination meeting, the time of year and the timely receipt of the nomination documents to complete the nomination requirement,” the release stated.

“It is important to go forward as one voice and support our candidate in Parksville-Qualicum. The focus is on winning the next provincial election,” Chenier said.

Stilwell will be officially nominated at a meeting at the Parksville Community Centre on Tuesday (Jan. 8).