Gary Young of Lac La Hache, B.C. plans to run as an Independent in the next provincial election.
Young was president of BC First up until recently.
“I’m going to do a year of campaigning,” Young told the Tribune, adding he had never belonged to a political party until he and his wife Maureen joined the BC First Party last year.
Young left his presidency post with BC First because the party is going in a different direction, he says.
“They’ve decided to be a support group for Independents rather than have a flag. It’s all about promoting Independent status anyway, because the platform of BC First is that we will treat any MLAs under us as Independents.”
His main focus, which he alleged can’t be done within the party system, is to respond to people when they ask questions by asking them what they think.
Using Taseko Mines Ltd.’s proposed New Prosperity Mine as an example, Young says he wants to know why people are for it or why they are against it.
“If I ask those questions, the answers will give me a background on where people are coming from, what the reasoning is. Maybe one side needs to pay attention to the other side and vice versa because there are so many issues.”
Finding out what people think is more important than his opinion, he adds.
Most of his working career has involved warehouse management, where he’s found the challenge to keep things in order rewarding.
“I guess that’s the way I look at life. I’m not a fanatic or anything, but to me my life needs to be like that, too. That’s what bothers me about government. It’s not very orderly. It’s very mixed up and the bureaucracies are against each other. They haven’t made things work in a way that they flow together.”
Instituting the HST, going ahead with the Site C Dam, approving pipelines, or lessening the clout of the utilities commission are some of the examples Young flags as the government’s attempt to “muzzle” public input.
“If we had enough Independents in the province you would have great representation in each constituency, you would get a bunch of people that would demand the truth come to debate, and you could directly represent your riding.”
A fan of reading the Legislative Assembly on Hansard, Young says a lot of things have happened that people don’t hear about.
“Independent MLA Bob Simpson’s done a good job of letting the public know more information. Leaked documents reveal what’s really going on with government.”
Young’s a fan of electronic voting, especially with referendums that could ask four questions at once.
“It costs a lot less and the most amazing thing is you get to find exactly what people think in a very short amount of time about something that’s controversial. Then you publish the results and tell us what you are going to do about those results.”
When it comes to tax reductions for industry, Young says he has yet to see one tangible benefit.
“Show me one job or one tiny expansion, anything that is a benefit to us for all the taxes that major corporations don’t pay.”
Businesses can pay more and they’re laughing that they don’t, he adds, suggesting the northeast’s resources could be taxed considerably more at no real damage to the companies.
“They’re our resources, and companies should pay more for extracting them. We should regulate the amount that’s coming out.”
Ideally he wants to look after the people in the region and lobby for their concerns.
Looking to the 2013 election, Young suggests it could be a four-person race in which he comes dead last, but hopes he’ll be able to say at least he tried.