Wilks prepares for battle

Sparwood mayor and Conservative candidate David Wilks has been on the road this week as the nomination selection began for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Sparwood mayor and Conservative candidate David Wilks has been on the road this week as the nomination selection began for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Wilks is hoping to replace long-time MP Jim Abbott, who announced a year ago he wouldn’t run in the next election, in the Kootenay-Columbia riding.

“It’s interesting because I feel confident in some areas,” said Wilks about this week’s vote. “I’m confident in the Elk Valley, Creston and Golden, but two of the other candidates are from Cranbrook, so that may be a challenge.”

Wilks said that where he thinks he’ll be able to set himself apart from the other candidates is with his municipal politics experience, his experience with the RCMP, and his experience as a small business owner.

“I’m going to focus on low taxes and fiscal responsibility which has been a priority at the District of Sparwood. My RCMP experience was able to give me expertise with crime issues and I’m hoping to improve on areas in the Criminal Code and the criminal justice system,” said Wilks.

His son is serving with the Canadian Military in Afghanistan and Wilks wants to address military issues.

“We owe that to the men and women that are serving over there,” said Wilks.

He also wants to address health care, primarily health care for seniors and make sure that there is access for everyone to the health care system.

The voting will wrap up in Cranbrook on Saturday, at which point a winner will be announced. The other candidates are Wesley Graham from Creston, Russ Kinghorn from Cranbrook and John Zimmer from Cranbrook.

The chosen candidate will replace long-time MP Jim Abbott as the representative of the Conservative Party in the next federal election. They will go up against Mark Shmigelsky of the NDP. There is no word yet on the candidates for the Liberal and Green Parties.

“The opportunity presented itself last year when Jim Abbott said that he was going to retire, and I am a conservative so I felt like it was a good opportunity to advance my political career,” said Wilks. “Abbott did a great job as MP and brought a lot to the job.”