A Prince George college instructor who is running as an independent in the Cariboo Prince George riding for the upcoming federal election said he used to be a Conservative supporter.
Now, Sheldon Clare said the party system is broken and he sees nothing but corruption.
“This way I won’t be subject to a party,” he said of his decision to run independently.
“I can read and analyze and critically think for myself.”
Being an independent will allow him to better represent his constituents, he added.
“I was a Conservative supporter and call myself a hardware conservative. I believe in fiscal responsibility, but I also believe in government fulfilling the obligations it sets for itself.”
Bill C-51 was also a big concern, he added.
As a former military service person, who taught army cadets and a reservist, Clare said he is disheartened with the treatment of veterans and the cuts to services for them.
“There’s been a shabby allocation of funds to veterans and I think they need to be getting services.”
The region has seen a significant drop in businesses and resource extraction, forcing the need to look at diversifying the economy, Clare added.
“Williams Lake has had its issues with resource extraction over the last few years and we really need to listen to the people who are living in these areas.”
Clare taught for Forest Renewal BC years ago at Sugar Cane and Anahim Lake and said he knows the area.
“I have lived in the region all my life,” he said. “My grandfather moved out here in 1913 to work on the railroad. We have deep roots here.”
Clare teaches history and technical writing at the College of New Caledonia.
He was an early organizer of the Reform Party in Prince George and worked as the Faculty Association of CNC’s contract negotiator for several terms.
Clare hopes to visit Williams Lake this week, he said.
“People have said Sheldon’s a vote splitter, but I am in this to win, not to split votes. I am a very serious candidate.”