Pubdate: Thu, 17 May 2007
Source: Pique Newsmagazine (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Pique Publishing Inc.
Author: Clare Ogilvie


A long time marijuana legalization activist is the new federal NDP
candidate for Sea to Sky country.

Dana Larsen was declared the candidate April 21 in Roberts Creek at a
meeting of NDP supporters.

Though formerly a Marijuana Party Candidate Larsen joined the NDP in

"The NDP is the last and best hope for Canada to maintain our
sovereignty and go boldly into the future so I think it is the right
party for me to be in," said Larsen this week.

Though it is unclear when the next federal election will be Larsen
said he is already on the campaign trail.

"There is probably not going to be an election until the fall, though
we don't know for sure, but for me the campaign started when I became
the candidate and I plan on working through most of the summer and
touring the riding and trying to drum up support," he said.

"I want to go boldly into West Vancouver because I think sometimes we
have been a little afraid of going in there and I think there are a
lot of people there who could be sympathetic to our ideas, so I plan
on really campaigning hard in West Vancouver and trying to get some
support there.

"I think the NDP is well positioned to grow in this next

Larsen hopes the NDP can draw support from other parties positioned on
the left as well as from the Liberal and Conservative voters who
dominate the riding.

"Our riding is certainly a challenge for us," he said.

"It is pretty evenly split between the Conservatives and the Liberals
in terms of where the vote is. The NDP has had some strong growth and
I don't see any reason why we can't increase more. If we take 3,000
votes from the Green Party and about 2,000 votes each from the
Conservatives and the Liberals then the NDP would be able to come up
the middle and win this riding."

And that's a goal Larsen intends to keep for the long term. If the
plan doesn't work out this time he plans to stick around and work for
success in coming elections.

The West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky riding is currently held
by Liberal Blair Wilson. Prior to the last election the riding was
held by Conservative John Reynolds, who has since retired from politics.

Though well known for his strong stance on legalizing marijuana and
changes to drug policies Larsen, who manages the Vancouver Seed Bank,
said other issues will also be important in his campaigning.

His 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 the civil rights policies,
which parliamentary committees have advocated.

Larsen, and partner Rebecca have a home in both Vancouver and Roberts
Creek, where Larsen's nine-year-old daughter lives.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek