Conservative candidate Dick Harris pulls his speaking order number from a basket held by moderator Tom Bulmer before the all-candidates forum for the Cariboo-Prince George riding in Vanderhoof on Tuesday.

Conservative candidate Dick Harris pulls his speaking order number from a basket held by moderator Tom Bulmer before the all-candidates forum for the Cariboo-Prince George riding in Vanderhoof on Tuesday.

PG north candidates visit Vanderhoof

Candidates in the Cariboo-Prince George riding had a number of interesting questions thrown at them Tuesday evening in Vanderhoof.

Candidates in the Cariboo-Prince George riding had a number of interesting questions thrown at them Tuesday evening in Vanderhoof.

One of them listed the ‘perks’ of being an MP, including salary, travel allowance and expense account, then asked if the candidate would be willing to supply a resume for why they should get the job.

While almost all of the six candidates attending said yes, Conservative incumbent Dick Harris had one advantage, which he pointed out.

“Serving you in this riding for the past 18 years is my resume. I think it’s a good one.”

As at other forums in the riding, Liberal candidate Sangeeta Lalli was the only one missing from the table. The other six candidates had the opportunity to make an opening address, then respond to written questions from the floor. The time for answers was kept consistent, but short, to allow for more questions to be taken.

For many of the candidates, the opening address was a chance to tell the 60 or so in attendance why they are running in the May 2 election. The reasons varied, but for several, there was a common theme.

Henry Thiessen of the Christian Heritage Party said, “Politicians are running around buying votes with stolen money”; independent Jon Ronan said, “I’m unhappy with the way the country is being run, and there’s no political will to change”; and Jordan Turner of the Rhinoceros Party said, “There’s something wrong when 45 per cent of the people don’t vote.”

Ronan continued to attack the political system and politicians in many of his answers, eventually causing Harris to muse, “Someone doesn’t like politicians very much, so why does he want to be one?”

In an area where the downturn in the forest industry has had a major economic impact, it was no surprise that one of the questions asked what the different parties would do for forest renewal, and how it would help the riding. Harris said the current Conservative government had focused on working with the forest industry on an immediate basis to help weather the “triple threat” of mountain pine beetle, downturn in the American housing market and the strengthening Canadian dollar.

Heidi Redl of the Green Party said her party would launch a two-pronged initiative.

“We would ban whole-log exports right away. Every whole-log export means jobs lost here,” she said. “We would also focus on value-added manufacturing to get every possible dollar out of the wood.”

Ronan agreed with the need to end whole-log exports, but also felt the government should be more concerned with the future of the industry.

“The government has to do more replanting and leave the harvesting to the industry. There also needs to be more diversification in the forests.”

Thiessen prefaced his remarks by noting, “Can you believe it? Three of the six candidates here agree on something.”

He then added his support for the banning of whole-log exports, and said getting the industry going again should be left up to the private sector.

“The federal government can supply tax incentives to industry, but shouldn’t get directly involved.”

Jon Van Barneveld of the NDP made it four candidates opposed to whole-log exports, but also wanted to see federal pine-beetle money going directly to the communities affected, rather than the industry itself.

“We need to make a long-term investment in educations. Young people, myself excepted, are not going into the forest industry. That has to change.”

The candidates in the riding had forums in the Williams Lake area on Wednesday and Thursday, and will return to Prince George on April 26, as part of a pair of forums with the candidates from the Prince George-Peace River riding.

The forum runs from 7-8:30 p.m. at the downtown library, and will also be available online.

 

Just Posted

People had a chance to interact with different animals at the petting zoo, participate in mutton busting, and buy everything local during the Fall Fair held in 2019. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
55th Fall Fair in Vanderhoof cancelled

Alternative events eyed once again

Grads at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof, B.C. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof celebrates 2021 graduates

NVSS grads got together at Riverside Park on Friday, June 11 in… Continue reading

Singing and drumming was heard in downtown Vanderhoof on Monday, June 14. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Photos: Honour Walk held in Vanderhoof

An honour walk was held Monday June 14 in Vanderhoof, remembering the… Continue reading

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read