Ian Morrison wants to be the first NDP candidate in the newly created federal riding of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford. The CVRD director for Area F (Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls) announced his intentions this week to try to earn his party’s support for his candidacy in the 2015 federal general election.
"This process started an awful long time ago," the 52-year-old family man said. The vacancy was opened after long-time NDP MP Jean Crowder declared she would not seek re-election.
"I was in Ottawa shortly after Jean won the last election and I had a tour of her office and we had lunch and discussed what our futures had in store," Morrison said. "I came back and tried to do the best job that I could as an area director with a mind to federal politics being a possibility one day," he said.
Backed by his wife of nearly 30 years, Brenda, and teen daughter Rhianon, Morrison knows he has a long road ahead. "I’m really not taking anything for granted. This is going to a real dogfight to get the nomination," Morrison said.
Morrison now has five-plus years representing Area F and bolstered his experience managing MLA Bill Routley’s campaign in the last provincial election. "Understanding the issues and relationships between federal, provincial and local governments has helped make me an effective community servant. I believe these relationships created value for our communities and shows the spirit of cooperation can prevail over the politics of division."
Strengths Morrison brings include keen senses of both environmental and fiscal responsibility.
"On environmental issues, I’ve been there
fighting the good fight," he said. "People have also acknowledged that previous business experience and my attention to detail on financial matters at the CVRD play a role. I’m not only prepared to do the work but I have a pretty good knowledge of what’s involved."
Whoever wins the approval of the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford constituency association, "My hope is that we have a good policy-driven debate to see who is going to be the next candidate and that when the next candidate is chosen that all progressives come together to fight to win this riding," Morrison said. "We’re all going to have to work together to win this."
And despite being a virtual lock for New Democrats in the last several elections, Morrison said it’s going to take hard work to re-elect the party once Crowder’s gone.
"I think we’re going to have to fight for every vote. I think the Conservatives are going to throw as much money at this riding as they possibly can," he said.