2005 Candidates (as received from Elections B.C.):
- Adriane Carr, Green Party of BC
- Maureen Clayton, BC Liberal Party
- Nicholas Simons, New Democratic Party of B.C.
Hugging the water and framed by the Coastal Mountains, this riding takes in much of the southern half of B.C.'s shoreline, running from the Thornbrough Channel in the south to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the north. Most of the population is concentrated along the Sunshine Coast. Logging, fishing, government and service industries are important to the riding's economy, as is tourism. Retail and manufacturing are the top two employers. The average family income, at $57,462, is low for B.C., but the 7.8 per cent unemployment rate is slightly low as well. Immigrants account for 16 per cent of residents, aboriginal peoples for 5 per cent, and seniors 17 per cent.
The incumbent in Powell River-Sunshine Coast is Liberal Harold Long. In 2001 he unseated incumbent Gordon Wilson of the NDP by more than 3,000 votes (Wilson was just 33 votes ahead of Adriane Carr of the Green Party). Long had first been elected here on the Socred ticket in 1986, with a narrow win over a New Democrat. In 1991, however, he ran behind Wilson, then the Liberal leader, and runner-up Howard White of the NDP. Wilson lost the Liberal leadership in 1993 and quit the party to sit as a member of Progressive Democratic Alliance; under that banner in 1996 he easily defeated challenger Bill Forst, a New Democrat. From 1972-86 New Democrat Don Lockstead was the MLA here; he lost his seat to Long by 269 votes.
In 2001, the voter turnout in Powell River-Sunshine Coast was 76.3 per cent – the third highest in the province.