Incumbent BC Liberal MLA John Rustad will run for the fifth time

Incumbent BC Liberal MLA John Rustad will run for the fifth time

Hopes to continue serving the Nechako Lakes riding

Incumbent BC Liberal MLA John Rustad has announced his candidacy and is running again for the Nechako Lakes riding in the upcoming provincial election.

Rustad, who was first elected in 2005, won again in 2009 against NDP candidate Byron Goerz with 56 per cent of the votes, in 2013 against NDP challenger Sussanne Skidmore-Hewlett by 53 per cent votes and in 2017 against NDP candidate Anne Marie Sam by 52 per cent. This will be his fifth provincial election but surprisingly enough, politics was never on his radar.

Born and raised in Prince George, Rustad worked in the forest industry for more than 20 years.

“I spent most of my work career in forestry through various stages, everything from logging to planting trees, to working in a mill, to running my own consulting company with an office in Houston and Prince George providing Geographic Information Systems Analysis work for the forest sector where I did everything from timber supply analysis to forest development plans,” said Rustad.

In 2000, unhappy with the direction the province was going in under the then-NDP government, Rustad and his wife sat down to discuss their future and at one point even considered moving to Calgary to work in the resource sector.

“But ultimately my whole family is in the North and her parents are in the North, and we decided that we didn’t want to have to leave the province to be successful so we decided to stay,” said Rustad. “We were left with two choices—one, either we live with it or two, to get involved. And I just don’t have the personality to sit back when there is something wrong, so I got involved and that’s when I actually joined politics.”

Rustad’s first step was to get selected as a school trustee in Prince George after which, in 2005, he was elected provincially for the first time. In 2013, he was appointed as the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. For Rustad, there was no looking back once he entered politics. But what has kept him going?

“There’s a couple of things—I am finding the time in opposition very challenging because it is tough to get things done and I am the type of person that likes to get something done and move on to the next challenge. But I suppose that’s what being in opposition is about; you just have to keep fighting for the things that are more important for the riding and the things that you believe in and that’s what keeps me going, keeps me wanting to run again,” said Rustad.

Rustad’s hope for his riding is to see a substantial growth in the coming years with more people coming in, the economy growing and the children and families in the riding wanting to stay back here to continue to enjoy the beauty of the area.

“There is a lot of work that I have been working on and I will continue to work on. My hope one way or the other from the elections should I have the honour to continue to represent the people of the riding, is that I can continue to push the issues and work on the issues that are important for the riding regardless of what the political outcome is,” said Rustad.

More about the man behind the politics, in the next issue.


Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist
@PriyankaKetkar

priyanka.ketkar@ldnews.net


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

BC politicsElection 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Head-on collision Jan. 14 claims one life west of Fort St. James

Jenkins said alcohol, as well as road surface conditions, have been ruled out as factors

Nechako River, Vanderhoof, B.C. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Officials keeping close tabs on Nechako River after ice jam causes area flooding

District of Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen, though, said water levels have gone down, for now

Vanderhoof home sees water from the Nechako move up into the yard, and within hours, water was seen up to the deck. Ken Young, Vanderhoof councillor posted this photo on social media.
Mayor concerned about ice jams in the Nechako river

“We have never lived with a frozen river at this magnitude during our time in council,” mayor said.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read