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#10 Welcome Back, Alex

Year in Review: It was another slam-dunk for the NDP’s Alex Atamanenko, who defeated his third consecutive Conservative challenger.

It was a remarkable year in federal politics, with jaw-dropping election results that saw Stephen Harper’s Conservatives finally secure a majority government, the Jack Layton-led New Democrats ride a populist wave to official opposition status, and the Bloc Quebecois obliterated. In BC Southern Interior, however … eh, not so much.

Here it was another slam-dunk for the NDP’s Alex Atamanenko, who handily defeated his third consecutive Conservative challenger, Stephen Hill.

What was a surprise, perhaps, given his caucus experience, was that Atamanenko was dropped from his party’s shadow cabinet — he had been agriculture critic. But in his usual humble fashion, he shrugged it off and said it would allow him more time for constituency work.

Layton’s death in August, meanwhile, brought back fond memories of his two visits to Nelson, most recently in 2005, when he sprinted through the city to visit projects with federal ties and buoy the spirits of locked-out Telus workers.

Two contenders hoping to replace him — Brian Topp and Nathan Cullen — have since been here drumming up support.

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