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Nine seek to represent Richmond in Ottawa

By Don Fennell

Published 11:41 PDT, Tue September 17, 2019

Last Updated: 11:42 PDT, Tue September 17, 2019

Nine individuals (five in the riding of Richmond Centre and four in the riding of Steveston-Richmond East) are seeking your support in the Oct. 21 federal election to represent Richmond in the House of Commons.

Richmond Centre:

• Dustin Innes, NDP

• Steven Kou, Liberal

• Ivan Pak, PPC

• Francoise Raunet, Green

 Alice Wong, Conservative (incumbent)

Steveston-Richmond East:

• Kenny Chiu, Conservative

• Jaeden Dela Torre, NDP

• Nicole Iaci, Green

 Joe Peschisolido, Liberal (incumbent)

Bios and photos of each candidate, where at available at press time, are included in alphabetic order.

Richmond Centre

Ivan Pak, PPC

Immigrating from Hong Kong, Pak became a Canadian citizen in 2001.

An information technology professional, he has his own business in Richmond.

Pak believes all Canadians should be treated equally no matter what skin colour or cultural background they have.

“We should all protect (our) freedom and democracy. They are the core Canadian values.”

Former president of the People’s Party of Canada Richmond Centre EDA, Pak was a 2018 candidate for Richmond School Board trustee and is president of the Blair Elementary School Parents Advisory Council. 

Park is also vice-president of the Community Mental Wellness Association of Canada.

Francois Raunet, Green

A longtime advocate for healthy ecosystems, peace, and electoral and economic reforms, Raunet in 2011 and 2013 ran as the BC Green Party MLA candidate for Vancouver-Point Grey against then-premier Christy Clark and current Attorney General David Eby. 

She wants to go to Ottawa to help Richmond grow a strong local economy based on renewable energy, local food production, resilient public infrastructure, and healthy ecosystems. 

With more than 20 years of experience working in community and social services, Raunet is currently a French Immersion teacher who lives in co-op housing with her husband and daughters. She has an MA in International Studies from Simon Fraser University, focusing on human security issues and China’s role in African development. 

Alice Wong, Conservative

First elected in 2008, Wong has represented Richmond Centre in Ottawa continuously for the past 11 years, having been re-elected in 2011 and 2015. During these years she has served variously as the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, member of the cabinet as Minister of State (Seniors), shadow cabinet minister for Small Business and currently serves as shadow cabinet minister for Seniors. 

Wong emigrated from Hong Kong in 1980, and in 1983 became a Canadian citizen. A lifelong learner, she obtained her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of British Columbia in 1993. She then worked at Kwantlen Polytechnic University until 2006 as faculty and Manager of International Programs. 

During these years, she also taught entrepreneurship and English as a Second Language at Vancouver Community College and started the Centre for Small Business, offering the very first English and Chinese small business management classes for immigrants. 

Steveston—Richmond East

Nicole Iaci, Green

Born and raised in Richmond, Iaci continues to reside in the Steveston-Richmond East riding. 

Of mixed Italian and Indigenous heritage, she is a proud member of Kwantlen First Nation based in Fort Langley and whose traditional territories extend to Richmond.

A practicing lawyer based in Vancouver working exclusively for First Nations across British Columbia, she was motivated to join the Green Party of Canada as a candidate for Parliament based on a mutual belief in climate justice, truth-seeking and an honest commitment to partnering with Indigenous Nations for a sustainable and vibrant future for all Canadians. She is also interested in advocating for affordable living for all, especially those most vulnerable: seniors, single-parent and racialized families and Indigenous peoples.

Iaci received her undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria, majoring in History and Political Science, before obtaining her Juris Doctor at the University of British Columbia where she received specializations in Aboriginal Law and Environmental and Natural Resource Law.

Before she began practicing law, she worked for her First Nation in their Lands and Resources department and business company. She also has experience volunteering for non-profit organizations including through a Pro Bono Students Canada placement with West Coast Environmental Law in Vancouver and at an internship with the Indian Law Resource Center in Washington, DC.

Joe Peschisolido, Liberal

First elected as the Member of Parliament for Richmond in 2000, Peschisolido was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Privy Council, and served as Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and as a member of several parliamentary committees. 

Former director of legal and corporate affairs at the Canadian head office for Bing Han Enterprises, a multi-national company headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, he also practiced law in Richmond where he focused on business and immigration law. 

Peschisolido earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He is fluent in English, French and Italian. 

An active member of the community and a Richmond resident for over 20 years, he is a member of the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

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