A second candidate is seeking the nomination to replace outgoing Conservative MP Cathy McLeod in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.
Michael Grenier, 61, joins Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis and Crown prosecutor Frank Caputo, 42, in vying for the candidacy.
No date has been set yet for a nomination meeting but Grenier said the Conservatives are “known for always being ready for an election. We need to identify who’s going to lead the campaign.”
McLeod, a four-term MP, decided last month not to seek re-election.
As the original founder and developer of Tobiano Golf Course, with a business degree from Western University, Grenier believes he has what it takes to represent the region and bring its issues to Ottawa. In the Cariboo, he said, those issues include the lack of broadband internet in rural areas, demand for seniors’ housing and to “make progress’ on providing certainty around Indigenous title.
Grenier said only 41 per cent of people in rural areas have broadband internet, with that number dropping to 31 per cent for Indigenous areas. This is compared with 98 per cent in urban centres. Broadband is desperately needed across the province, he said, as more people work or do schoolwork from home, or access telehealth services.
Seniors housing is also in big demand, to allow people to remain closer to home as they age, so they don’t have to be “shipped hundreds of kilometres away to another community,” he said. “There’s a strong feeling in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo that we need some attention in Ottawa,” said Grenier, who has lived in the region for the past 25 years. He currently lives in Cherry Creek and also has a property at Sun Peaks.
“We’re a resource-rich area. We’re blessed with that but in our households in this day and age, we’re concerned about our families, businesses and jobs. We need a government in Ottawa that listens to us.”
Grenier previously ran for the BC Liberal nomination in Kamloops-North Thompson in 2016.
“I’m just looking forward on our issues, our campaign, to do the best to represent our people if I’m selected.”
Caputo announced on Tuesday that he will also seek the nomination.