B.C. Votes 2017: North Coast riding profile
It's a traditional NDP riding, but one where political culture changes drastically depending on the region
In advance of the 2017 B.C. election, we'll be profiling all 87 electoral districts in the province. Here is North Coast, one of eight ridings in Northern B.C. — and one where the tension between economics and the environment is always front of mind.
Summary: A large riding on the west coast of the province, the riding includes Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert and Port Edward and a variety of coastal Indigenous communities, including Bella Bella, Bella Coola and Lax Kw'alaams.
Politics: A riding centred around Prince Rupert has been contested in every election since 1916 and was held for its first 29 years by former premier Thomas Dufferin Pattullo.
Candidates: Jennifer Rice is seeking a second term for the NDP. Prior to her election in the 2013 election, Rice was an environmental campaigner for a variety of organizations and is the party's critic for northern and rural economic development.
The B.C. Liberal candidate is Herb Pond, the party's 2009 candidate in North Coast, former mayor of Prince Rupert and former Lax Kw'alaams band administrator.
The Green Party candidate is Hondo Arendt, a professor at Northwest Community College and the party's candidate in the 2005 and 2013 provincial elections.
Where does the NDP do well? In recent elections, those coastal Indigenous communities have heavily supported the NDP, including Bella Coola (85 per cent in the main polling station in 2013), Bella Bella (95 per cent) and Lax Kw'alaams (90 per cent).
What about the Liberals? In Prince Rupert itself, the Liberals tend to split the vote with the NDP, gaining most of their vote in the neighbourhoods on the west side and when entering the city along Highway 16.