Terry Lake. Submitted photo

Former B.C. health minister ready to make a return

‘I think I have demonstrated that I have been able to be a strong voice’

A former British Columbia politician is ready to make a return in hopes to run on a federal level.

Former B.C. health minister Terry Lake is seeking out the federal Liberal nomination for the southern interior riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

“I didn’t have plans to go back in but I felt like this is a turning point for Canada,” said Lake, who is quite certain this election will help the country move forward in terms of the policies that have been put in place.

The government has been focusing on the environment, with issues regarding climate change, the reconciliation with the country’s indigenous people and the opioid crisis.

These are some of the issues Lake said he is passionate about.

I wanted to make sure that I had an opportunity to continue work in those areas with the Liberal party on a federal level,” said Lake. “I feel they (the government) are on the right track in those areas. I think about the riding we have here in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo and having represented Kamloops-North Thompson for eight years in the legislature, I am aware of some of the critical issues that parts of our riding are facing such as 100 Mile House and Clearwater.”

One of the major issues in the South Cariboo is the forest industry. Lake understands how critical this can be to people’s economic sustainability and the affected communities.

“I feel with my background in the provincial government, that on a federal level I think I will be able to advocate for these communities and help them through these difficult times,” said Lake. “When you look at advocating for the middle-class, the Conservative Party did not vote for the child benefit that has helped many families across the country. I think they tend to have more of the interest in people who are top one per cent rather than the middle-class who makes up the bulk of this country.”

Lake felt that the Conservative Party and Andrew Scheer, in particular, are putting a “pause” on certain policies rather than being progressive.

One example he used was the climate change plan which Lake said has been criticized by any credible environmental economist. According to the Conservative Party of Canada’s website, the plan promises to lower greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen environmental protections. That policy was built on three principles: green technology and not taxes, a cleaner and greener natural environment and taking a fight against global climate change.

“I don’t think it is a serious plan and that is just going to stall us when we are at a time where we need to make some serious gains in terms of climate action.”

Lake believes that by electing a Conservative government, it will set the country back in regards to some of the issues where progress is being made.

“I think I have demonstrated that I have been able to be a strong voice,” said Lake. “I have advocated for the environment, our health policies and issues that have affected the communities I represent. If you look at Kamloops-North Thompson, some of the major projects that have come here, I have been very much involved in.”

Overall, Lake said the campaign has been going well and when asked what was next, Lake said he is working on visiting more communities throughout the riding. 100 Mile House can expect Lake in the near future.

“Over the next couple of months, we will be getting out to those communities in the South Cariboo,” said Lake. “We need to make sure we listen to the concerns of the people in those communities.”

Lake is a father of three daughters and has spent the last 22 years living in the Interior of British Columbia. For the past two years, Lake has been the vice-president of corporate and social responsibility for a Quebec-based cannabis company called Hydropothecary Crop.

“I have demonstrated leadership at a local and provincial level and I think I can bring that to a federal level,” said Lake. “I am a good listener and will make a good advocate for local constituents.”

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