People’s Party of Canada (PPC) Cariboo-Prince George candidate Jeremy Gustafson of Horsefly, B.C. has been a member of the party since 2018.
“I became a financial agent when I was in Vancouver East living there. When they needed a candidate over in Esquimalt on Vancouver Island I was a parachute candidate, but since I was born and raised on the island it was not too much of a stretch.”
A self-described “ex-lefty,” Gustafson said he voted for Justin Trudeau in 2015. “That was my strategic vote and I was disappointed in his performance.”
Gustafson said he first heard of the PPCs leader Maxime Bernier when he read an article alleging Bernier was using hate speech.
“He was talking about lowering immigration levels. It was controversial, but I couldn’t call it hate speech. He wasn’t identifying any group and he wasn’t calling for harm.”
After reading the PPC platform Gustafson said he became convinced it was the party for him.
“It’s an interesting party really because I think we have three main groups that I like to call the hard core Bible thumpers, the libertarians and the classical liberals which I would classify myself as. I support free speech, independent media, freedom of religion. I found the left had sort of abandoned me so I found a new home.”
Individual freedom is a big concern in the upcoming election, he said.
“At recent protests people are being called anti-vaxxers, but it’s about mandatory vaccines. We want to be able to make an informed consent. That’s a big concern.”
Two months ago he moved to Horsefly from Vancouver where he had been working in the movie industry for 22 years as a grip.
“If you need to put a camera on the hood of a car you call a grip. We have all the pipes and mounts and gutter clamps. The reality of the job is there are a lot of sandbags and ladders. It’s sort of an industrial environment but you have a bunch of artists walking around.”
It took him a year and half to move to the Cariboo, but said he’d always had a longterm plan to relocate to a rural area when things got too crazy in Vancouver.
“I was wearing a mask, 12 to 14 hours a day, getting my nose swabbed three times a week, with COVID compliance officers following us around. That was the final straw for me.”
Gustafson was born and raised on Vancouver Island about 10 miles south of Campbell River.
“I like to say I was a redneck, then I was a big city guy for about 25 years, and now I am back to being a redneck,” he said.