Bill Mackenzie is running for the directorial position for the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Area E. He first purchased a semi-remote property in the area in 1987 at Machete Lake, just south of Bridge Lake and has lived there since his semi-retirement in 2006.
Question: When did you initially get involved with politics and how long have you been involved?
This is my first involvement with politics.
What made you want to run for your directorial area? Is it your first time?
The 2014 election was won by acclamation. That seemed undemocratic to me. Someone should have stepped up. Why not me? So, here I am.
What are some of the more important issues in the TNRD Area E?
To me, the most important issue is the wildfire situation. Like a lot of people, we were evacuated by the RCMP last August, on a very scary day when a wind event blew up the Elephant [Hill wildfire] and nobody seemed to know where it was going. The question now is: “What happens now and are we safe?” There are certainly lots of things that we can do (think FireSmart) for our own properties, but what is the TNRD going to do and what is the provincial government going to do?
The most important issue nationally, to me, is the opioid crisis. People (mostly young males, apparently) are dying and this has to be a priority. I do not know how big a problem it is here in Area E, but the TNRD encompasses Kamloops, where I believe that there have been deaths.
The third most important issue locally is, as always, the local economy. The three traditional economic drivers are logging, ranching and tourism. To these, you should add people moving here to escape or retire. These four groups support the fifth group, the service sector. How do we nurture these groups and help them grow?
What do you wish to accomplish during your term if elected?
I want to do whatever I can to understand the wildfire situation and to help ensure that our residents are as safe as possible. This will require coordination between the TNRD and the BC Wildfire Service. I am sure that it is happening now, but I want to be in a position to monitor it, perhaps as part of a liaison group between the two entities.
Why should the people of your area vote for you?
I am a professional engineer, trained to provide practical solutions to complex problems. I understand construction, contracts, drawings, and how to get things done. More than that, though, I have learned how to talk to people; to understand their needs, so that the solutions fit what they are trying to accomplish.
Finally, in my work experience, I have learned how to communicate with municipal staff to understand their responsibilities and how we can work together to resolve my clients’ needs with the municipal requirements. I have always found that people want to do a good job, no matter who they work for.
How can supporters get in touch with you or find more out about your platform?
The best way is to visit my website: www.cariboobill.com. They can call my cell and leave a voicemail or text: 604-420-0147. Or, they can call me in the evenings at 250-945-5130.