Karen Wang speaking to party members on Dec. 29, 2018 (Liberal Party photo)

Daycare operator Karen Wang wins Liberal nomination in Burnaby South

Wang told reporters she believes she has what it takes to take on Singh

The federal Liberal party has selected the owner of a daycare business as its challenger against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in an upcoming byelection in British Columbia.

Karen Wang, who owns Angels Playhouse and previously ran in the 2017 provincial election with the B.C. Liberals, was named the Liberal candidate at a nomination meeting in the riding on Saturday.

She defeated biotechnology scientist Cyrus Eduljee, who is product manager for Stemcell Technologies, after 123 members cast ballots.

“I’m so excited and I am so honoured to be selected by you here,” Wang said, before reading a poem she said was written by a Chinese poet.

“My eyes are full of tears because I love this land so deeply,” the poem began.

Wang told reporters she believes she has what it takes to take on Singh, because she has lived in the riding for 20 years and has strong connections in the community.

“He’s not from our local community. He cannot represent you, represent us,” she said.

“I believe we will have a good chance to win in Burnaby South as I believe right now I’m very familiar with our community. I’m one of the people here.”

Wang said her top three priorities would be improving housing affordability by increasing supply, creating more jobs and improving public transit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not yet set a date for the byelection in Burnaby South, which was vacated by former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, now Vancouver’s mayor. Trudeau is expected to call byelections for the Burnaby South, Outremont, Que., and York-Simcoe, Ont., ridings early in the new year.

The byelection, expected for February, marks Singh’s biggest political test to date, while he also tries to calm party fears about fundraising, slumping polls and a growing list of veteran MPs who say they won’t run in 2019.

Singh has said he plans to focus on campaigning in the riding over the next month, so he can check “elected” off his to-do list for the critical campaign year ahead.

In the 2015 federal election, the NDP won Burnaby South by just over 500 votes.

A party leader who can’t win a seat customarily steps aside, although that hasn’t happened in a byelection since the 1940s. Singh won’t say what he’ll do if he loses.

Corporate lawyer Jay Shin is running for the Conservatives in the byelection, while Green party leader Elizabeth May has said the Greens won’t field a candidate.

Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada plans to name a candidate in the next two weeks, spokesman Martin Masse said. Because the party is so new and only recently established electoral district associations in the riding, the candidate won’t be selected through a typical nomination voting process.

“Essentially, the leader will choose the candidate in each byelection,” Masse said.

Ahead of the nomination vote Saturday, Eduljee told a crowd of about 100 party members gathered at a banquet hall in Burnaby that the “whole country” will be watching the vote in Burnaby South’s byelection.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows film premiere offers hope to people with learning disabilities

In Normal Isn’t Real four subjects who have learning disabilities and ADHD, share their success stories

Marching for those who’ve disappeared

Fifth annual event in Memorial Peace Park

Letter: Other cities have declared climate emergencies

Maple Ridge should do what’s right for our planet

Elementary students are hoping the city will recognize Real Acts of Caring week

Pitt Meadows students participate in Real Acts of Caring week

West Coast Express to resume after pipeline protests block rail tracks overnight

The demonstration was in support of Wet’suwet’en members who oppose Coastal GasLink

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read