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News and Media Coverage

In my career as a political activist for almost a decade, I have been featured and interviewed thousands of times in every form of media (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, movies, conferences, and more) locally, provincially, nationally, and even internationally. If you "Google" my name you will find years of videos and media coverage, which will give you a good idea of what I do, what I believe, and why I'm an activist for freedom and justice. For this website, I am only posting my recent news coverage that has a focus on the election. I have used a bold font for the parts that mention me and my campaign.

On May 10th candidates all across BC were invited to call in for one minute on the Bill Good Show, on CKNW radio, to explain why people should get out and vote! Here is my clip.

Click the image to listen to the audio:

The Vancouver Sun website sent a survey to every candidate in BC, and published the responses online in an easy-to-use searchable database. You can see the three submitted Vancouver-West End candidate answers here or go directly to my responses here.

On May 7th, my responses to the Gay Vancouver candidate poll were posted online at their website GayVancouver.net.

On May 4th, my "Vancouver TV" interview was posted online. I talk about my election campaign and more.

Click the image to watch the interview video:

On May 4th, I was part of a Canadian Press article about the BC election and the lesser-known parties and candidates. You can read it at the Vancouver Sun website and below.

B.C.'s Excalibur party, Work Less party protest from the political fringe

May 4, 2013

VANCOUVER — Alexandra Halliday seems slightly offended by the suggestion that her B.C. Excalibur Party may not win a seat in the provincial election next week. The Abbotsford-area organic farmer and small business owner says her upstart party’s campaign may be “run on a shoestring,” but she believes it will appeal to enough of the nearly 50 per cent of voters who avoided the polls in the last provincial election to send a member to the legislature.

“Basically, 85 per cent of people say I don’t know (who I’ll vote for). ... We get the same old promises from the big parties, there’s no one to really vote for because we don’t believe the promises any more. They’re never kept,” says Halliday, a 47-year-old mother of eight. “It was really voter dissatisfaction, for the most part.”

Of the 16 parties on the ballot that could be considered on the political fringe, the Excalibur Party does have the best odds, with a pack-leading six candidates, including Halliday’s husband, Michael, who is running in Chilliwack.

Formed just a few months ago and based on the Arthurian Round Table principles of “truth, honour and justice,” the Excalibur party paid a $250 nomination deposit to Elections BC for each candidate and submitted papers with the signatures of at least 75 eligible voters in each riding. “The cost is not outrageous if somebody is truly dedicated to run,” Halliday said.

Jodie Emery disagrees. The wife of B.C. Marijuana Party founder Marc Emery is running under the Green party banner this election, due in part to the cost of mounting a campaign. The Marijuana Party has just two candidates running in order to maintain registered party status.

“But I’ve told them ‘you guys have no money, no resources.’ We don’t even have the website updated because we just don’t have the means,” says Emery, the Green candidate in Vancouver-West End. The Emerys have spent millions of dollars from a marijuana seed business on the Marijuana party and other legalization campaigns, and Emery says the work and time and money has, without doubt, helped get put legalization on the political agenda.

In 2009, 28,284 votes were cast for independent candidates and “other” parties in B.C. of the 1.65 million ballots counted. A vote for a Libertarian or Communist or Marijuana party candidate gives voters another option to staying home, she says. “Voters then feel their vote at least has value as a message, even though they know who’s going to win the game,” she says.

There are 376 candidates vying for votes on May 14, representing 19 registered political parties, among them the B.C. Libertarian Party, the Communist Party of B.C., the Helping Hand Party and the Platinum Party of Employers Who Think and Act to Increase Awareness. The Work Less Party is still in, but the headline-making Sex Party from 2009 is out. There are 35 independent candidates and 11 listed as candidates with no affiliation.

The B.C. Social Credit Party, once a powerhouse in B.C. politics that formed governments for decades, has just one candidate and it appears it won’t be getting an endorsement from the former leader. Former Social Credit Premier Bill Vander Zalm is endorsing spurned B.C. Conservative Mischa Popoff, according to his campaign manager, who sent out a statement Friday saying the man known for his megawatt smile was endorsing Popoff in Boundary-Similkameen.

Popoff, who was dumped over newspaper columns he wrote about single mothers and the missing women inquiry came to light that Conservative Leader John Cummins described as disrespectful and unacceptable, has become one of the most talked-about candidates in the current campaign.

The founder of the defunct Individual Rights Party of BC and Conservative cast-off announced he would stay on the slate as a independent candidate, and he did it with style in a homemade YouTube video. His four-minute appeal, entitled “Mischa Popoff Will Not Be Bullied” and featuring Popoff being head-butted by a friendly young bull with an awkward predilection for licking the back of Popoff’s jeans, has been viewed more than 23,000 times since he posted the video five days ago.

Halliday says social media has levelled the playing field for alternative parties like her Excalibur party. Their own social media campaign includes a blog, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a tab for online donations through PayPal and their own YouTube channel that features a video montage of Frank the cat.

A poll released last month by EKOS said fringe parties may make some headway this election in B.C., where the Liberals and New Democrats have held a lock on the Legislature since 1996. “There is strong evidence that British Columbians are beginning to consider political alternatives,” the pollster said in its April 12 report. “The growth of support for newer parties may well reflect growing fatigue with the mainstream political parties of old and the fragmentation of a rapidly pluralising society.”

Of course, by “fringe” they meant the B.C. Green Party and the B.C. Conservatives, a moniker rejected by both.

“The Greens have always suffered from being seen as a tree-hugging, hippie party,” says Emery, but they have a broad platform and, she believes, a good chance of electing their first MLA on May 14. “If we can get just one Green into the legislature they can start demanding a look at those books.”

On May 1st, an article about the only Vancouver-West End election debate was published in the Xtra news. Unfortunately, while they mentioned all of the main issues of every other candidate, they neglected to include mine - however, you can see my main theme here on my website, which I thank you for visiting! Read the article at Xtra news or below.

Vancouver-West End candidates face off in debate

Shauna Lewis, Xtra
Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Rental housing, Residential Tenancy Act reform, and the future of St Paul’s Hospital were among the topics highlighted at the Vancouver-West End candidates’ debate, April 25. The debate, held at the Central Presbyterian Church, attracted approximately 100 community members. Other topics such as education, seniors' care, childcare, economic sustainability and community amenity space were also discussed under the theme Affordability and the West End.

Five candidates participated in the debate: incumbent NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert; Liberal Scott Harrison; the Green Party’s Jodie Emery; the Workless Party’s Mathew Kegis; and then-Conservative Ron Herbert.

Herbert was fired by the Conservatives three days later, allegedly for using misogynist terms to describe Premier Christy Clark and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on social media. In a subsequent interview with Xtra, Herbert declined to discuss the reasons for his dismissal. He is now running as an independent, "small c" conservative in the same riding.

As the April 25 debate got underway, one community member asked candidates to stand up if they live in the West End. Chandra Herbert was the only candidate to stand. The candidates were then asked which three issues they consider paramount to West End residents.

Ron Herbert listed housing, transportation and crime among the Conservative Party’s most important priorities for the neighbourhood.

Kegis listed housing costs, food security and the public expansion of community space for the Workless Party.

Harrison said more downtown schools, investment in social housing and the redevelopment of St Paul’s are priorities for the BC Liberals. “We’ve got to the point now that we have a premier that finally is listening to the downtown and the redevelopment there,” he said. “We have a project board, which means they are designing it, which means they can price it so we have a good idea of what it actually costs,” he continued. “They just need to get the design down first.”

“We do need to renew St Paul’s Hospital,” Chandra Herbert agreed. “Unfortunately, despite what the Liberal government has said, there is no money in the budget as we see it right now. We need to rebuild that hospital so it is seismically safe,” he said.

In addition to redeveloping St Paul’s, Chandra Herbert said the government should also provide more home care. “We had to advocate for so many people who have been cut off home care. We need to increase investment in home care.” People also need to feel secure in their homes, Chandra Herbert continued, pointing to what he considers to be needed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act.

“I don’t question what the number-one priority for me is — and that’s affordability and fixing the Residential Tenancy Act,” he said. “We’ve had too many of our neighbours lose their homes, too many people illegally evicted through use of loopholes to push them out of their housing.

“I’ve introduced two private member's bills in the legislature, which could have been passed had the Liberal government decided that it was a priority,” he continued. Had the bills passed, they could have prohibited “renovictions” and landlords' ability to hike rents up to 73 percent, he said.

Kegis agreed that the act needs work. “You wait two or three months before you can speak to someone at the Residential Tenancy Board. We need to staff that properly so that people can have their complaints dealt with in a timely fashion,” he said.

Kegis also called for electoral reform. “We need bottom-up democracy,” he said. “We need easier access to recall if someone who is voted in isn’t doing their job. We need simple, accessible, horizontal, democratic systems put in place here in BC so that people’s voices are what are heard and not a representative’s voice.”

Emery agreed and called for fresh voices and faces in government. “We need some better representation. Nobody sees fairness and accountability, and we desperately need accountability,” she said. “The Green Party believes in empowering our MLAs to speak for the people.”

“Trade is important,” Harrison reminded constituents. “It generates the wealth and pays for the things we need, and keeping our credit rating is important because it keeps our interest rates down so we have more options.”

Chandra Herbert said it’s been an “incredible privilege” to serve his constituents. “Some days are challenging,” he said. “But it is a privilege because working to better your neighbourhood with your neighbours — what could be better than that?

“We’ve achieved a lot together,” he continued. “We’ve stood strong with those renters who’ve faced evictions. We’ve stood against homelessness and we’ve reduced homelessness.”

Christine Ackermann, executive director of the West End Residents Association, which co-organized the debate, applauded Chandra Herbert’s commitment to affordable rentals and a more balanced Residential Tenancy Act. “I really appreciated what Spencer had to say about rental reform,” she told Xtra after the debate. “I think that’s absolutely needed in the West End. But I’m very disappointed with what all the other candidates had to say about it.”

On April 23rd, I made my fifth appearance on Sun News TV, this time being interviewed about my election campaign on the show "Battleground BC", hosted by David Akin. Sun News is the right-wing conservative news network in Canada, but has increasingly broadcast and published liberty-loving conservatives calling for an end to prohibition and for smaller, more accountable government.

Click the image to watch the interview video:

On February 1st, the Province Newspaper published an article about my husband Marc Emery and the legalization of marijuana in Washington state. The article mentioned my candidacy for the upcoming election. (Click to enlarge images - files will open in a new window.)

Click here to read the article at the Province newspaper website

On March 28th 2013, the Langley Times newspaper covered my presentation at a Sensible BC panel in Langley. A photo ran with the column about how much marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers - not only in money, but in lives. The article mentioned my run for office with the BC Green Party. (Click to enlarge images - files will open in a new window.)

Click here to read the article at the Langley Times website