Christian Heritage Party (CHP) candidate Henry Thiessen says he wants to avoid any political “mud-slinging” in his campaign.
“I have nothing too negative to say about any of the other candidates. (Cariboo-Prince George MP) Mr. (Dick) Harris has worked hard for this riding but I can’t support him as a citizen of Canada and as a citizen of this riding … the Conservative party and Mr. Harris don’t support our kind of policies,” he said.
The CHP didn’t have a candidate for the Cariboo-Prince George riding in 2008, but in 2006 Thiessen worked on the campaign of candidate Chris Kempling.
While admitting he doesn’t have a great deal of support yet, he still hopes the CHP can elect their first MP this year.
His political experience may be limited, but Thiessen says he has been living in the Cariboo-Prince George riding for almost 40 years and knows the area and its issues well.
Thiessen, a commercial helicopter pilot since 1978, has been living in Vanderhoof for the last 35 years but grew up in the interior and has also lived in Houston and Prince George.
He says the platform of the CHP looks at core values rather than the “superficial things.”
“The typical politician will stand up and say we need better health care we need more jobs we need better education…but we like to look at the principles that drive those kind of things.”
So one of our main platforms at the CHP is that we are pro-life which is something that none of the other parties want to look at … and that one issue effects our health care, our education system and our economy big time,” he said.
He added that the CHP is also pro-family “which means we favor traditional marriage and that sort of thing.”
Forestry issues are a priority for Thiessen, in particular the effects of the mountain pine beetle.
“We have probably suffered the greatest impact in the interior from the mountain pine beetle…so we need to look at the best ways to deal with the problem.
“I have extensive experience with working with forestry not only in the work that I do but also having first hand experience on the ground working in the woods…we need to look at the best ways to rehabilitate the forest,” he said.
He also says it’s important to look at what other industries can be attracted into the area to offset the impact of the loss of forest.
Thiessen says he is leaning towards opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project due to its long-term risks but says he supports the prosperity mine in Williams Lake “as long as we meet all of the environmental requirements to do it in the best possible way.”
Thiessen says the CHP would like to see more honesty and integrity in government as well as the government deficit reduced or eliminated.
“We’d like to see the national debt treated as a mortgage – in other words we would pay off a monthly amount over a given period of time until it’s gone so we can use the money that we’re now paying in interest, towards funding programs that we actually need instead of putting it into investors pockets,” he said. Over the weekend, Thiessen visited the Seniors Centre in Vanderhoof as well as traveling to Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake to rouse support.