One of the most fiercely fought campaigns in B.C. was in Cloverdale-Langley City, where a traditionally Conservative region was flipped by the Liberals in 2015.
Cloverdale-Langley City was the high-water mark for the Liberal wave in British Columbia during the last federal election. Created as a new riding out of the pieces of several old ridings in 2015, each piece of the riding had been represented by Conservatives in the previous Parliament.
This year, the Cloverdale-Langley City race saw controversies involving race, blackface, and the right to die.
Photos – released on Twitter by comic persona Ed the Sock – showed “Zwarte Piet” characters at Sinterklaas celebrations for the Dutch-Canadian community. The Conservative Party confirmed the events were hosted at one of Jansen’s greenhouses. The character, also known as Black Peter, is controversial because it depicts a black or “Moorish” servant or slave character, usually played by a white person in blackface.
The photos came shortly after Liberal leader Justin Trudeau had spent days fending off his own scandal, in which it was discovered that the PM had dressed in blackface or brown makeup for an Aladdin costume multiple times in the 1990s and up to 2003.
Jansen did not respond personally to the Black Peter photos, although her party noted she did not dress in blackface ever.
In the last week of the campaign, Aldag criticized Jansen for comment she made at a 2017 rally at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, in which she compared the use of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to “death camps.” Jansen later released a statement saying she “used a poor choice of words” and apologized to anyone offended.
While those issues made headlines, at all-candidates meetings issues such as oil pipeline expansion, guns and gang violence, and the Liberals’ SNC-Lavalin scandal dominated questions for most of those who attended.
READ MORE: 10 Questions: Cloverdale-Langley City