The People’s Party candidate from the Feb. 25 Burnaby South byelection will not be running in the same riding in this fall’s federal election.
Instead, New Westminster resident Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson will be carrying the fledgling party’s banner to Alberta, to run in Red Deer-Lacombe.
The Christian blogger and former host of the 700 Club Canada TV show came in fourth in the byelection, losing to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh but attracting more than 10 per cent of the vote – by far the best result of any People’s Party candidate in byelections since its creation.
Thompson is well-known in New West for her opposition to the province's SOGI 123 education strategy to promote inclusivity for LGBTQ students - even speaking in August 2018 at a local event designed to rally opposition to SOGI 123.
During the byelection campaign, Thompson criticized Singh as lacking a genuine connection to the community. He had moved to the riding from Ontario to run in the byelection to replace former MP Kennedy Stewart.
“He’s not local to here and, so yeah, it’s kind of a surprise that he would choose Burnaby South,” Thompson told the Post Millennial in January.
Asked how her move differed from Singh’s, Thompson said, “Well, this is what happens in Canada. People in a free society move across to a completely different place, and they see an opportunity that will advance their cause and they do what it takes, and that's what I'm doing.”
Thompson said People’s Party members encouraged her to run in Red Deer after seeing her strong performance in Burnaby.
“I have some very good friends who are from Alberta, and I see they have been through an awful lot and have faced some very difficult times,” she said. “I think that they really like (People’s Party Leader) Maxime Bernier, and I feel very embraced by them.”
Thompson visited Red Deer recently but said she’s not sure whether she’s been there before.
“I believe that I've been to Red Deer many years ago on a road trip, but in all honesty, that's it,” she said.
In the 2015 election, the Conservative candidate in Red Deer-Lacombe, Blaine Calkins, won with more than 70 per cent of the vote.
Thompson said the People’s Party has yet to choose a new candidate in Burnaby South.
Other candidates from the Feb. 25 byelection have said they intend to run in the riding again on Oct. 20, including Singh, Liberal Richard Lee and Conservative Jay Shin.
The Green Party did not run a candidate during the byelection out of a “leader’s courtesy” to Singh, but intends to run a candidate in October. It has yet to name that candidate.