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Guichon seeking Liberal nod

Former school board chair looks to return to politics as provincial election speculation continues to mount

A well known name in South Delta has announced her intention to re-enter the political arena - this time on the provincial scene.

Former Delta school trustee Kelly Guichon said this week she'll seeking the Liberal nomination in Delta South.

The announcement was made at a constituency barbecue in Tsawwassen Tuesday evening, even though it's not clear when Premier Christy Clark will call an election.

Guichon has been out of politics for the last three years after retiring prior to the 2008 civic election.

After serving on the board for six years, including one as vicechairperson and two as chairperson, Guichon said she wanted to realize a longtime dream of returning to school to further her education. She went on to complete a master of arts in leadership at Royal Roads University this spring.

"It's been kind of my plan for some time to go through this process of getting my master's degree, so that would help me be ready for taking on another political position more on the provincial level. I think it's really a great idea to get as much education as possible. It's been a fantastic experience," Guichon told the Optimist.

Vice-chair of the Delta Chamber of Commerce board, Guichon said she likes what she sees in Clark, especially the new premier's families first agenda and attitude toward open government.

"I come from an approach that's collaborative and building partnerships in the community," she said.

As far as the Liberals losing the Delta South seat in the last election after holding it for almost two decades, Guichon said there were tough choices and decisions made by Victoria that might not have been good ones at the time.

"There's mistakes that are made and I think (former premier Gordon) Campbell recognized that there were some strong issues in the community and some of the decisions that were made people did not care for at all," she said.

"I think we have to be very careful how we tread in this community and there's a lot of upcoming challenges with respect to development on the Tsawwwassen First Nation, transportation issues and the South Fraser Perimeter Road. Some of those things are still on the books."

Guichon added, "I really think that we need a strong voice in government. We will be able to sit at the table and negotiate what's good for the community."

A local Liberal nomination meeting hasn't been announced, although there's been speculation Clark could call an election later this year.

Should Guichon get the nomination, she will likely have to contend with independent MLA Vicki Huntington, who narrowly beat Liberal cabinet minister Wally Oppal after a recount in the 2009 election.

Guichon said Huntington, a first-term MLA, is a good person who's doing the best she can, but in the long run it's advantageous for an elected official to have the backing of a strong party.

President of KWG Enterprises, Guichon served on both the Ladner and Tsawwassen business association boards, the Delta parks, recreation and culture commission, and was executive director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce. She's on the board of the Delta Earthwise Society.

Guichon is married to prominent local farmer Peter Guichon.

sgyarmati@delta-optimist.com

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