MyCariboonow reached out to each of the candidates in Cariboo North for their response to the following:
- What are the most important issues facing the residents in your riding and how would you address them?
- Tell the voters why you are the best candidate to represent your riding.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER (Last name):
Scott Elliott, New Democratic Party (NDP)
Scott is a three-term City Councillor for the City of Quesnel. He grew up in Parksville on Vancouver Island with his younger brother in a single-parent home. “My mother was my best friend, we could talk about everything and I always had the support I needed growing up.” He met his wife Amber in Whistler and they have been growing up together for 25 years! They made the jump to Quesnel, Amber earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN) and Scott entered into politics. Scott has volunteered in different capacities since the age of twelve. “If you start volunteering early, it just stays with you.” Scott and Amber have owned their own fly fishing guiding business and continue that passion today.
- The most important issues are Health and Safety. John Horgan’s NDP will work to keep all families in BC safe through this pandemic. In three short years, the NDP has given us 3 hospital upgrades and a Primary care facility! This will help our whole community with their healthcare needs. Instead of closing schools in our area, the NDP is building a long-overdue new school at Maple Dr. This has removed the health risks to staff and students at QJS. The Inter-Connector is something that needs to happen in Quesnel! I will do everything possible to make it happen! My counterparts said in the All Candidates Forum that they did not support this. We have had 3 Supportive Housing units invested in Quesnel in three years! As Chair of the Housing Committee, I oversaw a Housing Needs Assessment and Gap Analysis for the whole North Cariboo. I know the hard work has to continue! We need more seniors and affordable housing now!
- The communication and understanding between the City of Quesnel and the Provincial government must continue, especially in this time of transition. But we need to move the whole area forward and bring our concerns to the forefront, which is not what has been happening with the Liberal MLA. Housing, the Inter-Connector and slide issues on our rural roads are just 3 items that need to be addressed now! I will bring your voice to Victoria!
Douglas Gook, BC Green Party
Doug is a third-generation settler who was born and has lived all of my 60 years on the unceded traditional territory of the Lhatako Dene First Nation here in Quesnel. For 45 years he has been involved in social justice and Land-Air-Water-Biodiversity issues. He’s a member of nine cooperatives and was a founding member of the Cariboo Horse Loggers Association. Doug continues to work with communities and First Nations through Silvequus Selection Systems to achieve greater levels of employment-intensive Natural Selection Forestry. He is also a local wild-crafter and gardener who can often be found at the Quesnel and Williams Lake farmers’ markets. He has two adult children who have further inspired his lifelong commitment to respect the planet and live simply so future generations can simply live.
1. All issues need action through the lens of social, economic and ecological sustainability. Forests are the foundation of our community and as your MLA I would work to enact an ecoforestry reset. Implementing employment-intensive Natural Selection Forestry highlights value-added forest health and quality growth so B.C. forests can support a thriving wood product manufacturing sector. This would counter the corporate monopolization of our forests and communities. Helping our local farming sector thrive is a key issue. My passion and work with cooperatives, the young agrarian movement and farmers’ markets have given me major insight to assist this sector. As a Green Party MLA, protecting some of the best remaining farmland by ending the economic sinkhole of the Peace River Site C dam is also a key issue. BC mining law reform is an important issue for the safety of miners, downstream communities, wild salmon and ecological values. Since the Imperial Metals Mt. Polley mine disaster I’ve worked with many First Nations and community groups to make this happen. Both Liberal/NDP governments have ignored these reforms. As your MLA these reforms will happen.
2. I love the Cariboo North. I want to help make sure there are healthy caribou in the Cariboo. For Forestry, Agriculture, Mining, Tourism, Arts/Culture and our communities to have a chance to thrive again, I want to work together with you to make that happen. Our children and future generations deserve nothing less.
Coralee Oakes, BC Liberal Party
Coralee is running because she believes she has the responsibility to continue to work hard to support the people living in the riding. Her family moved to the riding in 1933 and Coralee says she was raised with strong values of the importance of giving back to your community
1. We have been deeply impacted by the mountain pine beetle, wildfires of 2017/2018 and now flooding. Our region requires leadership that can support our constituents to navigate government bureaucracy in order to access the assistance they require. As a former Cabinet Minister in the Portfolio of Community, Sport and Culture and later Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, I have the experience necessary to support our constituents. We need a voice that will champion economic opportunities and ensure infrastructure investments continue to be made in the region. I have worked very hard and have delivered for this region and will continue to do so into the future if given the opportunity. Our riding requires significant investments in infrastructure such as roads following the devastation of the wildfires. Following catastrophic environmental events, we need to look at things much differently and ensure we are investing in far more preventative efforts such as culvert upgrades and ditching as well as capital support for rural unincorporated communities to have the proper wildfire fighting equipment such as water tanks and hoses. We require significant investment in senior’s support including more assisted living beds. We need to continue to attract investment to build affordable housing and ensure we are training, recruiting and retaining the professionals we require to ensure we have adequate services for our population.
2. I hope to continue the infrastructure investments I have championed over the last 7 1/2 years as MLA Including investments in roads, schools, affordable housing as well as attract people to live in and raise their families in our riding. We need more assisted living beds to support our ageing demographic and we need to be investing in local training opportunities at our local North Cariboo Community Campus. I will work to support economic diversification and support for our small businesses. I will champion our rich agricultural sector recognizing the importance of food security and the need for affordable broadband infrastructure. I understand the need to be supporting our forest sector workers, contractors and businesses such as logging contractors, truck drivers and the businesses that depend on this sector.
Kyle Townsend, BC Conservative Party
Kyle has worked in the natural resource sector for almost 15 years, first in forestry and now in mining. He believes in responsible development of our natural resources while ensuring that we receive fair market value locally, as well as on the global markets. Before moving to Quesnel, Kyle grew up in the small town of Topley, where he started his career in the logging industry. Kyle received a service award for ten years on the Topley Volunteer Fire Department. Since moving to Quesnel, he has become the manager of a publicly traded junior mining corporation. Kyle and his wife are foster parents to a three-year-old girl who they recently received permanent custody of.
1. I feel that the most important issues facing residents in Cariboo North are roads and rural infrastructure, forestry and mining, along with economic recovery from the Covid- 19 pandemic. BCs Conservatives have a Made In B.C. plan for forestry, including switching to a monthly stumpage calculation which will allow the cost of timber to more accurately reflect the price of lumber, instead of lagging months behind. I am committed to immediately suspending the carbon tax, keeping more money in the pockets of families. I also firmly believe in the need for improvements to our rural infrastructure, which includes the immediate repairs and reconstruction necessary for roads Like West Fraser Rd, Quesnel-Hydraulic Rd and the Johnston Street Bridge.