The four candidates were given three questions, with some Rossland specific undertones, and asked what they thought.
The questions were:
1. Do you see a Rossland-specific issue in this campaign? If not, what is one that is related?
2. What are your top three concerns with the Kootenay West region?
3. What can you as an MLA do for the area?
There was no word minimum or limit. Their entire replies are printed here for your consideration:
Joseph Hughes, Independent
1. The school closure in Rossland is a prime example of what I want to accomplish as the MLA for Kootenay West. A challenge was facing the community and a solution was found but the red tape/timing and so on stopped the progress. Every challenge within the riding is the responsibility of the MLA. When elected I will be very involved in the community of Kootenay West to enable solutions and whenever possible empower groups to follow through on the solutions that fit for them.
2. The Columbia River Treaty. The future of our valley and sovereignty of our water will be decided and the people of Kootenay West are not being involved in the process enough. Our water is under the jurisdiction of NAFTA under the current treaty and people need to know the rights that are being assumed by BC Hydro and the province. We must have clear representation that is free of party muzzling or we will loose public oversight of this treaty.
Family support. People of the Kootenays know that a healthy society starts with a healthy family. The pressure on family life lately is extreme and the results will resonate for years. We need to ensure that programs that improve family life and their access to needed support continues and is designed in a way that is the right fit for each community. Again the efforts of an MLA are very important here. Through leveraging support and allowing that support to be customized by the programmers who provide the service we will have a more robust family network.
Business retention and expansion. We see party politics that are concerned with major projects and international trade. What West Kootenay needs is effort in the local economy. That means unifying as one large community that is empowered to keep business’ here and growing. As an MLA I can rally support within the framework of government to reduce the restrictions and costs on small businesses. Insurance, taxes, certification, everywhere I look I see more and more handed down from Victoria and it doesn’t work for rural B.C.
3. First and foremost is work for this area. The MLA is a servant to the region and is tasked with advocating for the needs of the region, not of the party elected. I am very involved as a municipal representative and I would be just as involved in the larger community of West Kootenay. Often I find groups working towards the same goal in different areas of the riding. I would work towards unifying groups and enabling them to have more strength to grow the entire region.
PS.. This valley has every asset needed to be wealthy. Not just financially but true health and sustainability. We have industry, farming, families, farming. As the MLA I would strive every day to bring out this strength for a new vitality.
Glen Byle, Independent
1. The destruction of community through the consolidation of education services in the name of fiscal austerity.
2. Voter’s general disinterest in politics; overburdened healthcare system, increasing the prosperity of the Kootenay West’s rural communities.
3. I can bring an increased public interest to the area by making us the first riding to say that we want a new way to do politics. A political system that increases voter interest through proportional representation, and an accurate public voice. I will be an MLA that will use ingenuity and new ideas to more effectively portray the voice of the Kootenay West voters.
Jim Postnikoff, Liberal
1. Yes, I feel there are two Rossland specific issues in this election: the closing of the school; and increasing tourism in the area.
2. a). jobs, b). health care, c). seniors
3. I can offer proper representation by approaching ministers to present specific concerns and a case for resolving those concerns, including a method of approach based on my experiences.
Katrine Conroy, NDP
1. I think the key issue is keeping quality education in Rossland. A strong public education system is the most powerful tool we have to ensure that our province provides equal opportunity and the best possible start in life for every child. A good education is a foundation for the post-secondary and skills training needed for a successful future.
2. The top three concerns for this region are health and seniors’ care, education and the environment.
• improve care for seniors, both in their homes and residential facilities and provide better access to primary care services particularly in rural areas like ours;
• create a public education system that ensures the needs of all children are being met: and
* ensure that strong environmental stewardship will put B.C. at the forefront of tomorrow’s green economy.
3. I have been the MLA since 2005 and I believe I have a thorough understanding of the issues in our region. I am experienced in working with ministry officials, both local and provincial, as well as municipalities, boards and agencies and all levels of government. I am committed to the environmentally sustainable prosperity of our region and the well being of the people of Kootenay West.
For more information:
- Voting requirements: http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/voting/
- Katrine Conroy: http://katrineconroy.bcndp.ca
- Jim Postnikoff: http://www.bcliberals.com/news/in-the-news/jim-postnikoff-kootenay-west
- Joeseph Hughes: http://josephhughesmla.com
- Glen Byle: http://www.kowindependent.ca