Three candidates vying for Kootenay West

There are now three names on the ballot for Kootenay West riding in the May 14 B.C. general Election.

With the announcement of independent candidate Joseph Hughes entering the provincial election race for Kootenay West last week there are now three names on the ballot.

Hughes will be up against incumbent Katrine Conroy (NDP) and Jim Postnikoff (Liberal) when the election officially takes place on May 14.

Until then, let the debate begin. The Kootenay West riding’s issues are as far flung as its inhabitants. The riding encompasses over 12,000 square kilometres and represents 39.713 people, but the issues to be dissected in the campaign will be revealed when the candidates convene in Rossland on May 8.

Here’s an election primer—with some important voting information—as well as a bit of a biography on the candidates.

Jim Postnikoff

Jim Postnikoff is a small business owner and has worked as a millwright in the mining and forestry industries for 25 years.

Jim Postnikoff

“Today’s BC Liberals have balanced B.C.’s budget and they have a plan to grow our province’s economy — that’s why I’m running for them,” said Postnikoff.

Postnikoff was born and raised in the Kootenays. He grew up in Shoreacres, a small rural community where he still resides, and attended high school in Castlegar.

Postnikoff attended Selkirk College enrolling in the apprentice program and worked in the mining/smelting and forestry industries for 25 years, before purchasing a hobby farm in Shoreacres. Postnikoff has three grown children, Jamie, Jake and Jesse.

He also started his own businesses including a gravel pit, a trucking company, a water bottling company and, most recently, a mini storage business.

He held positions as Parent Advisory Council president, Castlegar Minor Hockey president and sat on the board of West Kootenay Minor Hockey Association. He is a past and active member of several local service organizations and has held senior positions within those organizations.


Joseph Hughes

By Art Harrison, Trail Times

What looked like a possible quiet win by acclamation for the incumbent NDP MLA Katrine Conroy has turned into a three-way contest for the opportunity to represent the Kootenay West riding.

Joseph Hughes

Independent candidate Joseph Hughes from Nakusp confirmed his nomination, with Liberal candidate Jim Postnikoff having declared his intention last week.

The 29-year-old Hughes is a small business owner, a carpenter by trade, and holds a diploma in marketing management. He says he has been involved with local government issues in the valley from a young age and has sat on the Nakusp village council since 2009.

“I’ve got a strong team and we’re eager for the gates to open,” said Hughes.

“We don’t have the same budget as the parties but we’ve already got a lot of momentum. I think people in my area are excited about supporting me because they see how I’ve handled things on the local council.”

Hughes believed that the voters in the Kootenay West riding will support an independent, without ties to a large political party.

“I think we have very important issues in our area and we need a strong advocate in Victoria,” said Hughes. “The best way is with an independent without any political agenda.”


Katrine Conroy

First elected in 2005 and later re-elected in 2009, Katrine Conroy has most recently been the NDP critic for seniors and long-term are.

In the legislature, she has been a passionate advocate for the health and well-being of B.C.’s seniors and also for our whole community. She previously advocated for healthcare needs as a hospital board member.

Before entering politics, she worked as the executive director of Kootenay Family Place and served on the boards of several community organizations.

Katrine Conroy

Conroy enjoyed a career as one of B.C.’s first female steam engineers, as an early childhood educator, administrator and college instructor and as a small business owner.

With her husband, Ed, Katrine lives in Pass Creek where they run a successful ranch breeding prize-winning polled hereford cattle. Together, they have raised four children and have five grandchildren.


All candidates forum

Be an informed voter in Rossland on May 8.

Join in to learn from the Kootenay West candidates and their visions for the community at the Miners’ Union Hall at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Hosted by the Rossland Chamber of Commerce, the event is strictly non-partisan and is not linked to any level of government.

“This is your chance to be able to ask questions directly to the candidates and hear from them,” read the chamber’s website.

There will also be an all-candidates forum at the Trail Memorial Centre gymnasium on Monday, May 6, 7-9 p.m.

  • For more information on the forum, please contact the Rossland Chamber of Commerce.


Other areas

The provincial ridings on either side of Kootenay West are both fielding a similar number of candidates, if not necessarily representing the same parties.

To the east, in Nelson-Creston, incumbent, NDP MLA, Michelle Mungal will be facing Greg Garbula of the BC Liberal Party and Sjeng Derkx from the Green Party.

In the Boundary-Similkameen, to the west, Mischa Popoff is representing the BC Conservatives, Linda Larson is running for the Liberals, and Sam Hancheroff the NDP candidate.

There is still time for any undeclared candidates to enter the race as the nomination period for the 40th provincial general election remains open until April 26.


Get your vote on for Kootenay West

  • Advance polls – May 8-11, Waneta Plaza, Trail
  • General voting – May 14, Rossland Legion, Washington Street

Kootenay West is the provincial electoral district representing Rossland at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Established by the Electoral Districts Act, 2008, the riding came into effect in 2009, and was formerly the West Kootenay-Boundary riding.

On account of the realignment of electoral boundaries, most incumbents did not represent the entirety of their listed district during the preceding legislative term.


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