The 100 Mile Free Press asked each candidate of the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding a series of three questions for this week’s federal election coverage. The first question: What makes you the best candidate? The second: What issues in the South Cariboo need attention and how would you address them? And the third: How will you balance the needs and challenges of large communities in comparison to small rural communities throughout the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding? Candidates were given 300 words or less to share their responses. To ensure fairness as best we could, we’ve cut responses down if they went over 300 words.
What makes you the best candidate?
I feel I am the best candidate as I have 15 years of experience at the local, regional and provincial levels of government and understand the issues faced by smaller communities.
My work on the Ranching Task Force, working on forestry issues as an MLA and extensive experience in advocating for infrastructure for smaller communities means I will be able to address many of the issues encountered in the South Cariboo. I also feel I will have a significant influence in a Liberal government and have the ability to bring attention to local issues.
What issues in the South Cariboo need attention and how would you address them?
The South Cariboo faces challenges that aren’t uncommon in many areas of rural Canada.
Those issues include transportation, internet or cell phone connectivity and the creation of family-supporting jobs.
The severe downturn in the Interior forest industry is hitting the region particularly hard, meaning help should be immediate and long-lasting.
This can come in the form of more infrastructure to address airport improvements, water and waste systems and improved roads.
This will put people to work and keep money circulating in the local economy. We also need to support increased fuel management and tree planting activity which will keep communities safe and increase the health of forests while keeping people employed.
How will you balance the needs and challenges of large communities in comparison to small rural communities throughout the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding?
Larger communities like Kamloops have needs that can be similar to smaller communities like 100 Mile House – forestry help is a good example. There are other needs in Kamloops like assistance with immigration needs for international students that are quite different. As a former MLA for Kamloops- North-Thompson, I am familiar with balancing the needs of larger urban centres with those of smaller communities.