We asked Cariboo North election candidates the same five questions — plus one bonus question — leading up to the Oct. 24 election and gave them all the same word limit.
1. How would your provincial government approach a COVID-19 recovery moving forward?
British Columbia is recognized worldwide as having one of the best responses to the pandemic. John Horgan has shown great leadership in leading us through this first phase of the pandemic.
Now we need to keep B.C. moving forward with a recovery that works for everyone, not just those at the top. Our COVID-19 action plan keeps people safe and provides for more security for everyone. Our plan invests $8 billion in services and supports for people and includes direct deposits of up to $1,000 for 600,000 workers, along with property tax cuts and more. And when a COVID-19 vaccine is available, it will be free to everyone.
2. What will you do to improve road quality in Cariboo North?
The best way to bring the challenges forward concerning the roads in our area is to have an MLA that is aligned with the government and able to sit in on all of the important discussions. In 2005, the B.C. Liberals promised to twin Highway 97 from Prince George to Cache Creek. That project was never completed.
Premier Horgan announced a comprehensive infrastructure plan that will invest one per cent of the province’s GDP — roughly $3 billion per year — in infrastructure. That money will fund roads and bridges across the province, including Cariboo North, and the plan is more ambitious than the proposal the B.C. Liberals have made.
3. How should we tackle the overdose crisis?
The overdose crisis is a tragedy, and my heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones.
The B.C. NDP government brought in the province’s first stand-alone ministry of mental health and addictions, in part because the overdose crisis was so pressing. It was getting results; overdose casualties — although even one is too many — were coming down prior to the pandemic. When the borders shut, the drug supply became even more toxic, and that resulted in more deaths. We know more work needs to be done.
We’ll bring in a made-in-B.C. response to the crisis and press the federal government to finally act on the advice of medical experts to decriminalize personal amounts of illicit drugs. We’ll be expanding the network of Foundry centres, adding nine more, and develop better options for chronic work-related pain.
4. What will resource extraction look like in Cariboo North over the next 10 years?
Working with the John Horgan NDP, our new Forestry Innovation Centre and Community Forest initiative will help this area greatly in this time of transition.
Under John Horgan and the B.C. NDP, we’re prioritizing value over volume. We’re going to make sure that while large companies still have access to enough fibre they need, a specific portion of the cut will be allotted to companies that demonstrate their ability to create a higher number of jobs. Mining is extremely important to our region as well, and this government is supportive of this sector being as profitable and environmentally responsible as possible
5. Why are you running for MLA of Cariboo North?
This region has benefited greatly under the John Horgan government, from investments in the hospital to the fact we have the first new school being built in Quesnel in decades. I want to be part of a B.C. NDP government that puts people first; Cariboo North deserves a representative from this region who can make sure our voice is always being heard in government.
Bonus Question: What question should we have asked you?
Why do you stand on a bridge waving to people every day?
I would like people to be more engaged. In the last election, well under 40 per cent of eligible voters actually took the time to do so. That’s appalling to me. Maybe if they see me standing in the rain day after day, they might want to take part in a process that some in the world have given their lives for.