|Shin and St. Germain: Endorsement|
One of the leading contenders must certainly be Nelly Shin, a bright, engaging and compassionate educator, artist and community worker who is representing the Conservative Party of Canada. Here is a link to her website.
Nelly's backstory is a compelling one. She had originally intended to seek a nomination in the Ontario riding of Richmond Hill but graciously and without complaint stepped aside to clear the way for a former Conservative MP to seek the nomination.
Still wanting to serve the country, and reflecting on a rewarding stage in her life when she had lived in B.C., she--like so many other thousands of people every year-- decided to move to the province to start fresh.
A talented singer, pianist and composer, Nelly says she chose Port Moody because it's the self-proclaimed "City of the Arts." Contrary to some allegations made by political opponents, Nelly does not fit the definition of a "parachute candidate": she decided on her own to move to B.C.; the Conservative party paid none of her expenses; the party made no official decisions or decrees to support her nomination. Importantly, she has now made a home for herself in Port Moody.
This is in clear contrast to the path taken by the NDP leader, for example, who ran (successfully, as it turned out) in a recent Burnaby by-election, even though he doesn't live in the province. Interestingly, the party's support is plummeting in B.C.
Another unfair charge emerged when the Conservative party disqualified the only other candidate seeking the nomination, a young man who worked for the better part of a year attempting to secure that nomination.
It was said that the disqualified candidate, Matthew Sebastiani, was "blocked," a word that connotes unfairness. It's understandable that the disqualification upset some people, but it's always difficult to explain the justification for disqualifications because the party never makes public its reasons for such decisions. Nevertheless, I have a good understanding of the process, and I trust that the decision was not taken lightly, and was reached only after a fair and just review of the facts.
And so, here we are, less than four months to go until the general election. I, like several others (including former candidate Tim Laidler, leading Tri-Cities Conservative Dave Bassett, and legendary former Conservative senator, MP and party president Gerry St. Germain), have decided to publicly endorse Nelly. Moreover, I have decided to take a role on her campaign team.
I didn't do this lightly, but only after getting to know Nelly Shin; she is intelligent, compassionate, talented and, most of all, committed to public service. I think she will make an exceptional Member of Parliament.