As he hits the campaign trail Cariboo Prince George Green Party candidate Richard Jaques is hearing many concerns about the country being in another recession.
“I am also hearing about the federal government’s failure to seek consent with First Nations,” Jaques said.
“The government needs to meet with First Nations and figure out if they want to share the resources within their traditional territories.”
First Nations want input, they want jobs and they want to participate in the process, he added.
Formerly a Liberal supporter, Jaques said he was disappointed when leader Justin Trudeau voted in favour of Bill C-51.
“I couldn’t in good conscience support someone who is in favour of tearing our charter to shreds,” Jaques said of his decision to run for the Green Party.
Last month Jaques attended the Mount Polley Mine meeting held at Xat’sull.
While he came away from the meeting thinking the company is working hard and put on a good presentation, Jaques said more needs to be done to ensure any water released by the mine is not contaminated.
The Green Party is proposing reducing small business tax to nine per cent and increasing corporate tax to 19 per cent, Jaques said.
Born in Winnipeg in 1965, he was part of the 1960s scoop. He didn’t learn that he was adopted until he was 24 years old.
After training and working in corrections in Manitoba he became an RCMP officer in 1995.
He was posted to B.C. where he spent the next 14 years in First Nations Community Policing.
“I spent all my time on reserves and I understand the problems people are facing with housing, water quality, education and elder care,” he said.
Jaques also said Highway 97 needs to be improved sooner than later to help with road safety issues.
Shortly after his retirement from the RCMP, he decided to return to school to finish his Bachelor of Education Degree and applied to the University of British Columbia in 2010 and was accepted into the B.Ed./NITEP (Native Indian Teachers Education Program) where he is currently in the fourth year of studies.
Jaques is the father of six children and his wife Sherri Springle is originally from Williams Lake.