Scandal and redemption colour Vancouver South race
The race for Vancouver South is shaping up to be the closest in B.C., as a scandal-plagued Conservative candidate and a former premier battle each other and the rising NDP tide.
Liberal candidate and former premier Ujjal Dosanjh won the 2008 election by just 20 votes after a series of recounts, and he's determined to hold onto his seat this time around.
"I have not worked as hard in any campaign that I've ever run," he told CTV News.
His Conservative rival three years ago was Wai Young, who's returned to the hustings in this year's election campaign.
Young has declined to speak to the media since last week, when the Liberals alleged that she has been endorsed by Ripudaman Singh Malik, one of men acquitted in the Air India bombings.
Court documents have also revealed that five of her six siblings are suing Young in a bitter feud over their father's estate.
Young's sister Wai Ling Siu says that 14 relatives are refusing to vote for the Conservative candidate in the May 2 vote.
"I have a knot in my stomach over all of this, and I'm not happy at having to do this, but on the other hand I think the people of Vancouver South deserve better," she said.
But the embattled candidate may get a boost from an unlikely source: surging support for the NDP. The most recent Angus Reid public opinion poll shows a six-point jump in New Democrat support in B.C. over the last election.
"People are getting tired of the Liberals and Conservatives. They say they want something new, something fresh," NDP candidate Meena Wong said.
Unlike the last New Democrat candidate in a riding where almost half of the population is of Chinese descent, Wong speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese.
Dosanjh acknowledges that the growing support for the NDP could damage his campaign.
"If there are progressive votes going somewhere else it will affect the candidate who can best beat the Conservatives.... That's me," he said.
The Liberals have pulled out on the stops in this campaign; both Michael Ignatieff and former prime minster Paul Martin have stopped by to show their support.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Rob Brown