Pubdate: Thu, 26 Apr 2007
Source: Whistler Question (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007, Whistler Printing & Publishing Ltd.
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


Ex-Marijuana Party Nominee Says Upcoming Campaign All About Fairness 
for Families

Former Marijuana Party candidate Dana Larsen last week  was declared
the candidate for the federal New  Democratic Party (NDP) in the
riding that includes  Whistler.

Larsen, 36, is a small business manager whose family  has homes in
Vancouver and in Roberts Creek on the  Sunshine Coast, where the NDP
staged its nomination  meeting for the West Vancouver-Sunshine
Coast-Sea to  Sky riding on Saturday (April 21).

After being acclaimed as the NDP's candidate in the  next federal
election, Larsen said he was inspired to  run by NDP leader Jack Layton.

"Jack Layton and the NDP are working hard to bring  fairness to
average families, and that's a message that  I think really resonates
with people here on the  coast," Larsen said in a statement released
by the  party.

"Instead of a $9 billion corporate tax cut, it's time  the government
invested in ordinary people by putting  money back into education and
skills training for our  children and long-term care for seniors."

Larsen also criticized the Harper Conservative  government for being
too cozy with U.S. President  George W. Bush.

"On Afghanistan and the softwood lumber sellout,  Stephen Harper
thinks it's more important to keep  George Bush happy than to stand up
for our communities  and our values," he said.

At a meeting last week in Squamish, Larsen acknowledged  his past
membership in and candidacy for the federal  Marijuana Party. He said
he remains an advocate for  liberalizing marijuana laws.

"The vast majority of people in British Columbia are in  support of
changing our marijuana laws, and I think  that goes for people in all
classes and all stratas of  society," he said. "I think if you're the
kind of  person that thinks people who smoke marijuana should go  to
jail, then you probably weren't going to vote NDP  anyway."

At the nomination meeting, Larsen said his main  priorities will be
fighting for tough action on climate  change, fairness for families
struggling with the high  cost of long-term care and tuition fees and
implementation of civil rights policies that  parliamentary committees
have advocated.

"The people of our coastal communities deserve an MP  who will work
hard on the issues that matter to  ordinary people," he said.

The NDP is the third party to have named a candidate  for an election
expected sometime this year. In  January, the Conservative Party chose
John Weston as  their standard-bearer, while the Green Party named
Silvaine Zimmermann as their candidate in March.

It's widely expected that the Liberals will choose  incumbent MP Blair
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake