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Rivalry for Conservative Party nomination in Port Moody-Coquitlam heating up

Last Updated May 4, 2019 at 12:46 am PDT

Nelly Shin (left) and Matthew Sebastiani (right) are vying for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination for the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding. (Source: Compilation, Facebook)

PORT MOODY (NEWS 1130) –A few months before the federal election, the Conservative Party has yet to nominate a candidate for Port Moody-Coquitlam.

It’s a coveted seat because current New Democrat MP Finn Donnelly is not seeking re-election.

Right now, two Tories are in the running, but concerns have been raised about former Richmond Hill candidate Nelly Shin being parachuted in from Ontario.

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While she hasn’t responded to NEWS 1130’s request for an interview, Matthew Sebastiani –who’s lived all his life in the riding– says his priority now is signing up more party members.

“So in the Port Moody-Coquitlam riding, it also includes Anmore and Belcarra, I’ve just been getting out there and meeting with residents, small business owners about the vision that I share,” he says. “You know, keeping in mind affordability, safe communities, better infrastructure and you know, I think competition is a good thing, but I think, at the end of the day, it will come up to the members to decide who they will vote for.”

Until a few months ago, Sebastiani was the only Tory expressing interest, but the first-time candidate says he’s confident he can win.

“Lifelong resident. Grassroots democracy is important to me. Local voices matter because, you know, we need fresh, strong voices in Ottawa representing us. I have worked on Parliament Hill as a policy advisor to Senator Yonah Martin,” he says. “I also interned for James Moore in 2012. I just finished my masters in business at UBC at the Sauder School of Business and I’ve worked in the private sector.”

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The 26-year-old also says don’t let his youth fool you.

“Someone who’s young, someone who’s fresh that can be that next generation of leaders because decisions made today will affect my generation and those younger than me. I feel that that resonates with a lot of people when I’m talking to them on the doorsteps or just in meetings. For me, being young, I want to ensure to see a balanced budget. You know, it’s my generation and those younger than me that are going to have to pay off a substantial deficit.”

No date has been set, but there has been some suggestion a nomination meeting will be held before June.