Know who you’re voting for

Six candidates vie for votes

Vancouver Island North voters can choose from six candidates to represent them and the rest of Vancouver Island North during the May 2 election.

Conservative candidate John Duncan, Green Party candidate Sue Moen, Independent candidate Jason Draper, Liberal candidate Mike Holland, Marxist-Leninist candidate Frank Martin and New Democratic Party candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard have all confirmed with Elections Canada their intention to run in the riding.

The amount of candidates competing for votes in the riding has increased by one from the 2008 election, when Duncan, NDP incumbent Catherine Bell, Green Party candidate Philip Stone, Liberal candidate Geoff Fleischer and Draper competed for the position.

Conservative Party of Canada — John Duncan
Incumbent Duncan, was first elected to Parliament in 1993, and re-elected in 1997, 2000 and 2004. Prior to 2006, Duncan served as opposition MP and held several critic portfolios, including International Trade, Natural Resources and Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

In 2010, the Campbell River resident was named Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
Duncan supports Stephen Harper’s five-point Conservative platform which focuses on creating jobs, supporting families, eliminating the deficit by 2014-2015, making streets safe and standing on guard for Canada.
Recently, Duncan noted he fully supports the forest industry and promised to reintroduce measures to invest in the Transformative Technology Program, the Value Wood Program, the Canada Wood Export program and the North American Wood First Initiative.
He also recently announced an increase to the Fitness Tax Credit once the budget is balanced.

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Green Party of Canada — Sue Moen
Moen is an independent small business and non-profit consultant with a record of service in a wide variety of community and social justice issues.

Moen’s experience includes CEO of the LUSH Valley Food Action Society in the Comox Valley and consulting administrator for the Comox Valley Community Arts Council.
From her home in Black Creek, Moen says she strives to reduce her household carbon footprint and to maintain a lifestyle consistent with sustainability. Her platform is based around a smart economy, strong communities and true democracy, believing that environmental accountability starts with individuals.
She calls for a new Canadian agriculture policy emphasizing organic, local food production and will work to end poverty through a variety of measures including those to ensure a guaranteed living income for all citizens, tax reform, investment in a national housing program and working with the provinces and territories to complement their anti-poverty initiatives.

For more information, visit

Independent Party of Canada — Jason Draper

The Comox Valley resident is also the leader of the party, and notes his primary reason for running for Parliament is for the future of his children and those of his constituents.
Draper is a proponent of life, liberty and property. He believes Parliament requires independents because they are not bound by party policies, and that every local vote of every citizen in Canada who votes for a party candidate other than independent is lost to the whim of the leader of the party in power.
Draper says the Independent Party does not have a platform, only policies based on principals. 
“In general, as independents, we retain the right to lean whichever way we need to come up with the right decision, the right belief, the right answer at the right time without being encumbered by a laminated instruction sheet from party headquarters,” Draper says.

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Liberal Party of Canada — Mike Holland

The Comox-based lawyer who has worked in the community by volunteering his time, energy and legal skills to advance community issues such as Glacier View Lodge. 
He is a charter member of the crisis centre, past member of the regional and St. Joseph’s Hospital boards, Rotary Club, Kinsmen Club and other organizations.
His platform identifies five key points: the economy, families, finances and the future, clean resources, healthy environment and the economy of tomorrow, bringing Canadians together and Canada into the world.
Holland believes in cancelling Stephen Harper’s corporate tax breaks, creating a family care and pension reform plan, creating and environment and clean energy plan, boosting rural matters and creating a national food policy, and creating a global networks strategy and rebalancing development, defence and diplomacy.

For more information, visit

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada — Frank Martin

The Montreal-based party believes that all aspects of political, economic and social life in Canada needs renewal, which can be brought about only if the people are sovereign. 
The party believes in working for the formation of a free and equal union between the nation of Quebec, the nations of the aboriginal peoples and the rest of Canada, and building a truly multicultural society in which the languages and cultures of all Canadians are given official recognition and are encouraged to flourish.

The long-term aim of the party is to create a socialist society with the transition to Communism, which will usher in a classless society.

Their platform consists of three main points: to stop paying the rich and increase funding for social programs, democratic renewal and the renewal of international relations.

For more information, visit

New Democratic Party of Canada — Ronna-Rae Leonard

The Courtenay city councillor is making her first foray into national politics. She has served on the Sandwick Water Improvement Board for 12 years, is chair of the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board, chair of the Comox Valley Regional District’s Housing and Homelessness Standing Committee and is the co-founder and chair of the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force.
Her priorities include making life more affordable, supporting veterans, and preserving the environment.

Leonard is supporting the NDP’s steps to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, strengthen the Canada Pension Plan and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, end unfair reductions for retired and disabled Canadian Forces and RCMP veterans, restore the Service Income Security Insurance Place for retired and disabled veterans and support the tanker ban off the North Coast while strengthening environmental assessments for projects such as the Raven Coal Mine.

For more information, visit