BC VOTES 2020: Q&A with five Cariboo-Chilcotin candidates

With the BC Election slated for Saturday, Oct. 24, we asked the Cariboo-Chilcotin candidates some questions. (Photo submitted)
Scott Andrews, BC NDP (Photo submitted)
James Buckley, Libertarian Party (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Lorne Doerkson is the BC Liberals candidate in the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding. (Photo submitted)
David Laing has been declared the BC Green Party candidate in the Oct. 24 provincial election. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Katya Potekhina, Independent (Photo submitted)

We asked the five provincial election candidates from the Cariboo-Chilcotin two questions. Here are their answers placed in alphabetical order of their last names.

Scott Andrews, BC NDP

Who are you and why do you want to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin?

I am a young professional with long standing ties to this region – my grandfather first bought property in this region decades ago. I want to represent Cariboo-Chilcotin because this beautiful area and the kind, welcoming people who live here deserve representation in a John Horgan government committed to moving B.C. forward. For too long, and especially under the BC Liberals, rural B.C. hasn’t benefited from the economic growth experienced by the Lower Mainland. The BC NDP plan doesn’t leave anyone behind, and having the Cariboo Chilcotin MLA in a BC NDP government caucus would mean that this region would be get the kinds of investments and services it truly deserves.

What do you feel are the top issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin and how would you address them?

The Cariboo Chilcotin deserves an economy that works for everyone. We deserve good jobs – whether that’s in traditional sectors like forestry or agriculture, or in the growing and important tourism industry, or in sectors that haven’t yet come to the fore. A BC NDP government would make sure that public resources, like Crown lands, benefit everyone, not just a few at the top. But we also need strong services – the kind of services like health care and education, that we all rely on. People in Williams Lake, 100 Mile and everywhere in this region should be able to access the kind of services that those in larger centres take for granted. Our government has been delivering on those services – building schools and hospitals and setting up Urgent Primary Care Centres – and our plan will only expand on that good work.

James Buckley, Libertarian

Who are you and why do you want to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin?

I’m James Buckley, I’m 43 years old. I would like to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin because after living in 100 Mile House for 23 years I feel that I have a fairly good understanding of the issues that are happening not only in 100 Mile House but also the vast surrounding area. I think with my drive and dedication, we can see the Cariboo Chilcotin flourish once again.

What do you feel are the top issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin and how would you address them?

I feel the two biggest issues right now would be mental health and the opioid crisis which go hand in hand. To help address that issue, getting funding for treatment centres and hiring more mental health workers to take of the backlog of patients. The second pressing issue is our natural resource sector, getting the mills up and running again and mill workers back to work would be huge, and not just for them but many other industries that rely on the lumber industry. To accomplish that, lowering stumpage rates would be a good start.

Lorne Doerkson, BC Liberals

Who are you and why do you want to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin?

I am thrilled for the opportunity to represent our region as MLA. My family and I have lived here in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House for almost twenty years and have raised our two daughters here. I have been involved in several small businesses and have always believed in community service and volunteer work in the region. I have a very good understanding of the region and its needs. I believe the region needs a strong voice to carry the concerns of our residents to Victoria. I believe in transparency in government and community consultation and participation.

What do you feel are the top issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin and how would you address them?

There are opportunities for economic growth on our land. We are rich in diverse ecosystems, providing opportunities for new ventures. Working together creating land use plans with open transparent consultation.

In order to retain qualified day care workers, a provincial wage must be established.

Our newly announced $7,000.00 seniors tax credit will assist getting care at home right now, while working towards a more affordable seniors housing and long-term care. Economic recovery through the elimination of the PST for one year and three per cent for the second year, allows investment into the economy, creating jobs and strength for our small business sector.

David Laing, BC Greens

Who are you and why do you want to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin?

My name is David Laing I am an organic gardener and an environmentalist with a passion for social justice. I want to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin because I have taken up residence here and want to help make a positive change locally.

What do you feel are the top issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin and how would you address them?

I think one of the most important topics locally is forest management and climate change. We need to ensure that we are protecting our communities from forest fires, and removing our dead standing pine that is leftover from the northern pine beetle damage. Another top issue for me is seniors care, we have a serious need for an increase in services for our aging population in the Cariboo Chilcotin region.

Katya Potekhina, Independent

Who are you and why do you want to represent the Cariboo Chilcotin?

My family moved to Canada in the year of 2006. I am proud and fortunate Canadian, Cariboo-Chilcotin resident of six years with a blend of Russian and Ukrainian ancestry. I value both the opportunity to live in this great country, province and what is more important – our community. My values are: responsibility, honesty, integrity, love and compassion, respect and kindness, and an open mind.

I am running as an Independent candidate because it is time to give back to the community and to be a voice for the community. I choose to be our community watchdog over a warm seat and career in any political party. It is unfortunate that small communities get lost in a political turmoil of larger political parties’ games.

I will listen to your issues, not tell you what they are. I will work hard to address the things that matter to you, to the people of this riding. Time came for me to give back to our community and on a bigger scale than I have been serving our community for many years.

What do you feel are the top issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin and how would you address them?

Coming from the country, where an autocratic government took away my rights and freedoms of a citizen, I deem that our freedoms issue is our number one priority. Current pandemic revealed how it is easy to lose these under wrong government.

Without ability to exercise our rights and freedoms, freedom of speech, we will not be able to resolve other high priority issues for one simple reason. Our voice will simply not be heard by autocratic to come government. Rather than listening to our concerns, government will tell us what our concerns are which is already happening.

Here are some issues I can list but not limit to only these: securing natural resources, agriculture, forestry, mining for the future while balancing the rights of the land title holders and the environment, working with all parties to find the balance, to ensure all parties come to the table and work to solve issues.

Read more: Received a write-in ballot for B.C.’s 2020 election? Here is what you need to know


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