Steve Forseth describes his love for politics as half hobby, half passion.
“I just love everything about local government,” the 42 year old said. “I cannot explain it, but I just love reading about local government, being involved in local government and learning about what other local governments in B.C. are doing.”
A Cariboo Regional District (CRD) director since 2014, Forseth was recently acclaimed as the first vice-president of the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA).
With the NCLGA, he enjoys lobbying for things such as policing, economic development and transportation concerns, and being involved is a way for him to be part of a collective on behalf of all local governments.
As for the CRD, he likes working on behalf of the residents of Area D, which encompasses Commodore Heights, Fox Mountain, McLeese Lake, Pine Valley and Wildwood.
“They are a great group of people who I work for. I like tackling the challenges they bring to my attention and trying to find solutions.”
Understanding the needs of other electoral areas from his colleagues at the board table and how they mesh with what he is hearing from his own constituents is probably the biggest challenge, along with determining how they can collaborate and work together, he said.
Roads are a number one topic of complaint, he confirmed.
It was in Grade 5 that Forseth’s love for politics was fostered.
“Government was a topic in social studies so I think it grew from that and I was on student council at Marie Sharpe back in the 80s.”
From there the political bug took hold and never left.
Born and raised in Williams Lake, he also lived at 150 Mile House for about eight years. Over the years he has had requests from family members to move to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, but has never left.
“I have always loved living here in the Cariboo Regional District and have no plans to leave.”
After graduation from high school, he worked at different jobs, including cleaning cement pads at Chilcotin Guns and doing security at Tolko Soda Creek, a job his late grandfather Sid Frederickson found for him.
Presently he works graveyard shifts from Friday evenings to Tuesday mornings at the Best Western Williams Lake Hotel on Highway 97, a position he’s held since it opened.
His shift goes from 10:50 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Between 2009 and 2020 he was on the Sacred Heart Catholic School Council and is now the treasurer for the Catholic Independent School Kamloops Diocese board.
What most people might not know is that Forseth operates on as little as three hours of sleep every 24 hours, “literally all the time.” When asked if he hunkers down and sleeps for 14 hours to catch up, he admitted he does about once a year.
For fun he gets out into his electoral area and explores.
“There are so many different lakes we can go to, breathe fresh air, go for walks and think about the challenges your constituents put in front of you and think about how you can resolve them.”
An ambassador for the Cariboo Chilcotin, Forseth said when talking with people from different regions he does not hesitate to promote his hometown and part of the province.
“I tell them that if you draw a circle you could be in a number of locations to explore within an hour of Williams Lake, Quesnel or 100 Mile. You don’t have to think about being in your car for hours on end. It could be a short hop to a location you have never visited.”
There are always new places in the CRD to check out, he added.
Forseth rents an apartment downtown and said he plans to run for CRD director in the next election in 2022.
He ran for Williams Lake city council two times in 2005 and 2011, but said he does not think he will try running for council again.
“I think once you’ve run twice for council and you are not successful, but you are successful with the regional district, you stick with what you know,” he said, confirming he will seek re-election in 2022.
Local Government Awareness Week is May 16 to 22.