With the election campaign coming to a close, candidates in Nelson-Creston are spending the lead up to May 14 with vote getting in mind.
Green Party candidate Sjeng Derkx says he will be campaigning right up to the last minute Tuesday.
“I wish I could clone myself into 100 Sjengs to be able to talk to everyone,” he said.
Green Party supporters are invited to come to The Seed on Front Street for their celebratory party after polls close at 8 p.m. on election day.
“Elections are very long job interviews and I am very proud of what we have accomplished,” he said. “It has been truly humbling to see what dedicated people can achieve when they set their hearts and minds to it.”
Derkx said he’s grateful the experience of campaigning has brought forward such offers to help, questions and frank telling of stories. He feels he has a good chance to take the Nelson-Creston seat from the incumbent.
“I feel we have really turned a corner; so many people have found that they are greener than they realized,” he said. “If voters choose for a positive future, and not out of fear or anger, I know this riding could be in for a surprising result on election night.”
Liberal candidate Greg Garbula isn’t as sure he’ll win the local seat.
“We feel much more comfortable in the overall provincial opportunity,” he said. “We know that if we can get our people out to vote and everybody stands tall, we’ll do just fine.”
“I am not going to tell you that I think we’ll win, but we’re planning on it,” he laughed. “It’s a strange feeling because you don’t know until the voters actually get out and vote.”
This is Garbula’s first foray into politics and he’s found the occurrence to be a positive one — “an unbelievable learning experience.”
As he’s met with folks to talk the issues over, he’s already gotten an idea of what the constituents want.
“That’s what the job’s all about,” he said.
His camp of volunteers, supporters and the Garbula family will be at the Liberal campaign headquarters “until the eleventh hour” and will later gather at the New Grand to watch the election results come in.
“That’s where we’ll have a drink and watch,” he said.
NDP incumbent Michelle Mungall plans to spend Tuesday taking seeds she saved from last year’s garden to those who’ve supported her throughout her campaign.
“From my garden to yours,” she said. “Volunteers helped make this campaign such a wonderfully positive experience for all of us. No one person is ever elected without all that support.”
Throughout the campaign, Mungall has consistently heard constituents of Nelson-Creston say how they’re ready for a change in government.
“They want to see a new direction where people are put first. They want to see an honesty and authenticity in government,” she said. “People who have voted Liberal in the past are saying it’s time for a change.”
Mungall is also pleased her constituents seem “very happy with the work that I have been doing.”
The NDP camp will be at the Hume Room as votes are counted and results made public. Mungall feels ready to put the decision “into the hands of voters.”
“Democracy doesn’t work unless we participate. It is not a spectator sport,” she said.
Advanced polls opened on Wednesday with voting taking place through Saturday at the Best Western in Nelson from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Early voting is also taking place at Crawford Bay community hall, Salmo Valley youth and community centre and the Kaslo Legion.
On general voting day – May 14, polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In Nelson, people will vote at Central, Rosemont and Hume elementary schools as well as Ecole des Sentiers-Alpins on Highway 3A depending on residential address. People can check the yellow voter cards that came in the mail for their exact location.
Blewett residents will vote at the elementary school and Beasley residents will vote at their fire hall. In Balfour, people will vote at the seniors community hall or Redfish ElementarySchool.
Residents of Crawford Bay, Salmo and Kaslo are able to vote at the same location as advanced polling. Ymir community hall and Harrop and district community centre are also open for voting.
Along with an inkling of a decision, voters should bring with them their yellow voter card and proof of identification and place of residence.
For more information check out elections.bc.ca or call 1-800-661-8683.