The New Democrats have dominated this Kootenay riding since the early 1970s.
Social Credit and BC Liberal MLAs have scored rare wins in that time, but the NDP has won every election in the riding since 2005.
Veteran MLA and Jobs Minister Michelle Mungall, who has held the seat since 2009, is not running for re-election.
Nelson and Creston form the main population centres in the riding, which stretches to Yahk in the east and north up Kootenay Lake past Poplar Creek.
- BC NDP: Brittny Anderson
- BC Liberals: Tanya Finley
- BC Greens: Nicole Charlwood
- (Just Announced, so missing from October Mainstreet) Libertarian Party: Terry Tiessen
Swing riding meter
Nelson-Creston has long been fertile ground for the NDP, and the Greens and the Liberals had a strong presence in the last election.
Mungall captured the riding with a comfortable 14.03 per cent margin of victory in 2017. It was the 33rd closest race in the province, based on the margin of victory, and the 18th closest of the 41 seats the NDP won.
2017 election results
- BC NDP: Michelle Mungall — 7,685 votes (42.19%)
- BC Greens: Kim Charlesworth — 5,130 votes (28.16%)
- BC Liberals: Tanya Rae Wall — 5,087 votes (27.93%)
- Independent: Jesse O’Leary — 164 votes (0.9%)
- Independent: Tom Prior — 149 votes (0.82%)
Read below for more on the candidates who have been so far announced:
Brittny Anderson, NDP
Nelson city councillor Brittny Anderson has been acclaimed as the Nelson-Creston BC NDP candidate for the Oct. 24 provincial election.
“I am excited to join John Horgan’s team and keep B.C. moving forward,” said Anderson in a news release.
“Nelson-Creston, and all of B.C., have been well served by the last three years of a John Horgan government. They have protected health care and education, and avoided the kind of draconian cuts the former B.C. Liberal government inflicted on British Columbia.”
Anderson said she wants to showcase BC NDP’s work on climate change — especially the CleanBC strategy — “and protecting services that people count on.”
Anderson’s candidacy follows MLA Michelle Mungall’s decision, announced on Sept. 16, that she did not intend to run in the next election.
Terry Tiessen, Libertarian
Tiessen previously ran in the 2019 federal election
The BC Libertarian Party has announced Terry Tiessen as its candidate for Nelson-Creston in the Oct. 24 provincial election.
Tiessen said in a statement he has previously worked for Greenpeace, a reading centre in Slocan and the Humane Society.
“I have lived in the Nelson area for 30 wonderful years now, choosing to raise my three children in the beauty and the culture of the Kootenays,” he said.
“It was in 2017 that I decided if I wanted to persevere and leave a world for those children that have impenetrable individual, property and privacy rights, I would have to join and run for the BC Libertarian Party.”
Tiessen previously ran for the Libertarians in the 2017 federal election, but had his campaign cut short when his nomination package wasn’t filed on time.
Nicole Charlwood, Green Party
The BC Greens are very pleased to announce that Nelson resident Nicole Charlwood is our MLA candidate in Nelson-Creston.
“I am honoured to have been chosen,” says Nicole. “Nelson-Creston is a special riding in the province. I have been asked by many people across the Kootenays to run for MLA. Voters here have a chance to send a strong voice for real change to the Legislature in Victoria. We don’t have to worry about strategic voting. It’s a clear contest between the NDP and BC Greens. Voters here can freely choose the strongest voice that represents them for the policies they want.”
BC Greens are strong supporters of local economies and innovative small businesses. We love our natural mountain home and we recognize the climate change dangers we face from forest fires and smoke pollution. Together we are working hard to move towards sustainable living that deals with the climate crisis, reduces our impact and lets us live more in balance with the world we love.
“Many of us are dissatisfied with the NDP’s business-as-usual approach that seems to take up where the Liberals left off. LNG, the Site C dam, the TransMountain Pipeline, under-managed forestry – BC can do better.”
“With unique Kootenay Lake communities like Ymir, Argenta, Kaslo and Riondel we share a rural paradise. We know it and we appreciate it,” Nicole says. “We are ready to come together to protect it and to build local livelihoods so everyone here has a home, and a safe and supportive place to raise our families.”
Nicole and her husband are parents to two teenagers and live on a small acreage west of Nelson. Born and raised in Ontario, she served at the age of 13 as a Page in the Ontario Legislature. She has lived and raised her family here since 2000 and has been deeply involved in the community.
Nicole currently serves on a RDCK Watershed Advisory Committee, is the Treasurer for Nelson Waldorf Community School Association, has been a Review Committee Member for Columbia Basin Trust Community Grants and served as Acting Executive Director for West Kootenay EcoSociety.
At her core Nicole says she is a mother, foodie, singer, outdoor enthusiast, arts lover and activist. “I express my values by actively volunteering, buying local and by financially supporting co-ops, community schooling, small businesses, and community service organizations.”
“I am inspired by what has been accomplished by the current minority government and the Green balance of power. Under the leadership of Sonia Furstenau, I’d love to see at least ten more of us elected as Green MLAs in this provincial election and make further bold strides across party lines.”
Tanya Finley, Liberal Party
Finley is president of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce
Tanya Finley will try to break a 15-year grip on the Nelson-Creston riding by the NDP as the candidate for the Liberals.
Finley, the president of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, announced her campaign Saturday ahead of the Oct. 24 provincial election.
“I’ve had so many people ask me to run over the years, and that’s a humbling thing,” said Finley in a statement. “I’m excited to put my name forward with the BC Liberals, and to work for the people of the riding rebuilding our economy and renewing confidence in British Columbia.”
Finley will take a leave of absence from the chamber as well as the Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership during the campaign, according to the chamber.
She has co-owned Finley’s Bar and Grill and Sage Wine Bar since 2003. Her announcement also adds her contributions to the Nelson Police Foundation, the BC Chamber of Commerce, Nelson Rotary Club and a 2017 award given for hiring individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment.
She said she has the ability to work with diverse groups of people to find solutions.
“I hear lots of politicians talk about plans and ideas, but they’re not able to put things into action,” said Finley.
“I’m a mom, an entrepreneur, and a business leader. My whole life is about consulting, making decisions, and moving quickly to turn ideas into action. I want to put that same energy to work for the people of Nelson-Creston.”
If she wins, Finley would be the first Liberal to represent the riding since Blair Suffredine’s four-year term from 2001 to 2005. Previously, no Liberal had won Nelson-Creston since Frank Putnam held the seat through three terms from 1933 to 1945.