B.C. Votes 2017: Fraser-Nicola riding profile
In a rematch of 2013, NDP stalwart Harry Lali seeks a comeback in this geographically diverse riding
In advance of the 2017 B.C. election, we'll be profiling all 87 electoral districts in the province. Here is Fraser-Nicola, one of five ridings in the Cariboo region — and one where new boundaries may impact an old race.
Summary: A sprawling riding in the Nicola-Thompson-Fraser Canyon area of the province, it generally comprises everything east of Pemberton along Highway 99, everything north of Hope along Highway 1 and 5 until Kamloops and the towns of Clinton and Big Bar Creek.
Politics: The riding linking the Lower Mainland to Kamloops and beyond has voted for the NDP in all three elections in which the party has formed government and was held by Harry Lali from 1991 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2013.
But after winning by about 900 votes in 2009, Lali lost by about 700 votes in Fraser-Nicola to B.C. Liberal candidate Jackie Tegart.
Candidates: A backbench MLA, Tegart is seeking re-election for the Liberals. Prior to 2013, she was an Ashcroft councillor and former president of the B.C. School Trustees Association
Lali, a former cabinet minister in the Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh administrations, was asked by the NDP not to seek a second political comeback in this riding. But he declined the request and defeated Lower Nicola Chief Aaron Sam for the party's nomination earlier this year.
The Green Party's candidate is Arthur Green, an entrepreneur who ran for the party federally in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon in 2015.
Where does the NDP do well? It does best in the communities around Gold Bridge and Lillooet, and it also tends to do slightly better than the Liberals in Merritt and Hope.
What about the Liberals? Support is strongest in the ranching and agricultural area between Logan Lake and Kamloops. Overall though, this is a very even riding from north to south.