Independent Candidate Bob O’Brien, an Independent candidate for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding, is from Kamloops and moved around the country from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Manitoba.
He tried for mayor back in 1986 for Kamloops.
O’Brien is one of seven candidates in the riding.
The others are
- Wayne Allan is running as an Independent
- Frank Caputo is running for the Conservatives
- Iain Currie is running for the Green Party
- Corally Delwo is running for the PPC
- Jesse McCormick is running for the Liberals
- Bob O’Brien is running as an Independent
- Bill Sundhu is running for the NDP
O’Brien says one of the main reasons he’s running is because of the poor structure around affordable housing.
“I’m running in this election because as a residential builder I came across a problem with affordable housing. So I asked the question: what about the people who can afford rent but not a house? And it went all the way to CMHC in Ottawa and they said no that’s not really our goal at this stage. So I talked to the minister of housing and he said no that’s not our goal at this time and that’s what got me started in wanting to run.”
O’Brien says he believes climate change is one of the most important issues we face today.
“Climate change affects everything, it affects our economy, forest, immigration, affordable housing, where our seniors are going to live, medical care, it’s all interconnected.”
With limited doctors in the Cariboo and the country, he believes there are more people retiring than learning.
“The problem with that is that the education to learn costs too much and so I would work towards reducing the price of education so that they can afford to go to school.”
He says he has also done the math and found that we pay more taxes when someone has an education in their field than someone who doesn’t step into their field and doesn’t get educated.
O’Brien wants people to vote independently because he believes in listening to each community about their issues, not just the big cities.
“In Canada, the country is divided into 338 ridings. 199 are in Ontario and Quebec. Every political party is headquartered in these provinces. The parties know that they have to win the vote there. All election promises are based on what needs these two provinces need. The rest of the country is an afterthought.” he said.
He says all the parties handpick their members and when you become a party member you have to toll the party line.
O’Brien says at this point you can’t talk about your riding because it might not affect the party, so you’re kind of limited to what you can say.
“As an independent, you can actually pick the best of each party and represent that and you can speak for your riding. Nobody can stop you no matter what you say,” he said.
He believes this election is going to be a close one which means if 169 conservatives get elected, just as an example, they will have to come to an independent and that’s when we can say well let’s discuss Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo issues.