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B.C. election 2017: North Coast riding

In 2013: NDP newcomer Jennifer Rice handily held this NDP-friendly seat, taking 56 per cent of the vote.

In 2009: NDP incumbent Gary Coons won this riding for the second straight time, defeating BC Liberal Herb Pond by nearly 2,000 votes, 57-35 per cent.

History & Geography: Known as Prince Rupert from 1916-1991, this riding spans the west coast of British Columbia from just past the north tip of Vancouver Island to Lax Kw’alaams, just north of Prince Rupert. There are a number of aboriginal villages in North Coast, including Bella Coola and Klemtu, along with the Haida Gwaii. The riding of former premier Thomas Dufferin Pattullo from 1916-1945, this riding has gone to the NDP in 10 of the last 11 elections, 2001 being the only outlier.

Candidates

BC Liberals – Herb Pond: Pond served two terms as mayor of Prince Rupert and is a band administrator for the Lax Kw’alaams. He has also worked as community relations advisor for LNG proponent BG Canada. He was the Liberal candidate in this riding in 2009.

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NDP – Jennifer Rice: Incumbent. Opposition spokesperson for Rural and Northern Health, Northern Economic Development, and deputy spokesperson for Children and Family Development. A one-term Prince Rupert city councillor and a former columnist for the Prince Rupert Daily News, Rice has been involved in a number of environmental causes, and is former chair of Friends of Wild Salmon.

Greens – Hondo Arendt: A community college professor, Arendt has run for the party both federally and provincially several times.

2017 Stats: North Coast

Population (2014): 22,382 (86th)
Population Deviation from Average: -57.9 per cent
Area: 143,864 sq km (3rd)
Pop Density: 0.2 (86th)
Average Age: 39.8 years (54th)
English as Second Language: 10.91 per cent (66th)

Top 3 Second Languages:
Vietnamese – 1.50 per cent
Panjabi (Punjabi) – 1.07 per cent
German – 0.93 per cent

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