Liberals choose candidate for new south Island riding

Singer Maria Manna has been acclaimed as the Liberal Party candidate in the new electoral riding of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.

Manna, who lives in Langford, is a performing artist, charity fundraiser and franchise owner of 4 Pillars Debt Restructuring.

“Under the Liberal government, there were nine straight surpluses beginning in 1996,” Manna said. “Under the Conservatives, a string of seven deficits.”

Her interests include improving commuter rail service, eliminating the Colwood crawl and creating affordable daycare.

Manna created an event to help aspiring performing artists on Vancouver Island called Vancouver Island's Got Talent to fund The Maria Manna Bursary at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

"I've been raising funds for non-profits and charities for over three decades," Manna said in an interview.  "I'm very good at what I do and now I want to take it to the next level to help the people in my riding. I want to be the voice for various organizations who need my help at a federal level."

Manna will be the third candidate in the race for the riding.

The Green Party candidate Cowichan-Malahat-Langford is Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi.  Hunt-Jinnouchi is a former elected Chief of the Quatsino First Nation, former director of indigenous affairs at the University of Victoria and current co-owner-operator of Evedar's Bistro in Langford.

The riding's NDP candidate is Alistair MacGregor, who was Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder's constituency assistant. Crowder is retiring this year.

There will be a race for the Conservative Party’s nomination. The date has yet to be announced.

Those contesting the nomination include: Jeremy Smyth, a special education teacher and assistant at Duncan Christian School; John Koury, a former North Cowichan councillor; and Martin Barker, a chiropractor and recent Duncan councillor.

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