Garth Frizzell knows he has a gargantuan task in front of him.
The Prince George city councillor and Liberal candidate for Cariboo Prince-George is trying to do something not seen in decades – represent the riding as a Liberal.
“It’s a steep uphill mountain, but in 2015 it was close, so I think there’s some opportunity,” he said. “It can’t hurt.”
The Cariboo-Prince George riding, established for the 2004 federal election, has only ever elected Conservative representatives.
It took some convincing for the past president of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities to put his name on the ballot, he even received a call from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
In the end, Frizzell said it was the Liberals’ record during the pandemic which persuaded him.
“We’ve never seen the kind of engagement we’ve had — with all the parties to be fair — throughout the year trying to connect with municipalities,” he said. “But when we brought all of our concerns forward, (the Liberals) delivered.”
Frizzell was in Quesnel on Wednesday, Aug. 25, sitting inside Granville’s, and anticipated returning on Aug. 27.
“I might wind up burning a hole in this chair here,” he quipped.
Talking politics with @QuesnelNews Editor @GimliJetsMan this morning. Appreciated the Granville’s Coffee- he bought himself a cup of something that looked even better than mine. #quesnel – back on Friday. #caribooPG #Elxn44 pic.twitter.com/SuuA9M6J8i
— Garth Frizzell (@garthfrizzell) August 25, 2021
Frizzell has also visited the other cities in the riding outside of Prince George, which is split between two ridings in Cariboo-Prince George and Prince George-Peace River.
“There’s strong sentiment in Williams Lake and Vanderhoof, and I’m going out to try and change perceptions, but I think Quesnel is going to get some serious attention in this election,” he said. “I think Quesnel is going to be a spot where you wind up running into a lot of candidates.”
Frizzell said while he’s met with Indigenous leaders in the northern part of the riding, he’s in the middle of reaching out to their southern counterparts.
“(Indigenous rights and reconciliation) are really important in the Cariboo,” he said. “A lot of the issues that will be part of this election, you look around and they are everywhere here.”
Frizzell said he anticipates a Liberal government to cut back on spending if they receive another mandate.
“Yeah, we had to spend a lot of money to get past the pandemic, but now it’s time to make sure that people are safe, but also focus in on responsible spending, like every government always does,” he said.
“We’re starting to get into the recovery, and we should be at the table.”
Other federal election candidates having put their names forward for Cariboo-Prince George include NDP Audrey McKinnon, Conservative Todd Doherty, Green Party Dr. Leigh Hunsinger-Chang and People’s Party of Canada Jeremy Gustafson.
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