If ever there was a time for community groups, advocates and activists to get busy with campaigning and raising the profile of their work, it’s during an election, and Kootenay East is no exception.
Incumbent, wannabe and hopeful politicians will be sniffing around the riding over the next three and a half weeks looking for projects and initiatives to get behind and support, and there is no shortage of organisations that could do with a helping hand.
We won’t be seeing too many volunteer door-knocking campaigns or politicians shaking hands and kissing babies, but the wide open spaces and fewer faces of the Elk Valley mean we could be seeing them nonetheless.
Here in Kootenay East we are fortunate to have an incumbent provincial MLA and a former federal MP running, meaning that during COVID-times, it’s relatively easy to read back through track records and promises to have a good look at where they stand and what they do and don’t take seriously.
The Free Press hopes that voters will be offered even more choice in this election, with nominations closing tomorrow (Oct. 2). As of writing, three candidates are known.
Political games aside, voters are hard-pressed to find a politician that doesn’t genuinely hold the interests of their communities close to their hearts.
Broadly, the choice for British Columbians is a tough one mainly due to general exhaustion with 2020, with voters given the chance to pass judgement on six months of the province’s pandemic response efforts.
While many are weary in general, British Columbians are indicating satisfaction with the efforts.
Polling indicates that if the election were today, the Premier would be returned to office with a thumping majority in the Legislature, having successfully wed the government’s fortunes to the success of the provincial health authorities.
For the bubble that is the Elk Valley where the pandemic seldom reached, priorities may be different, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that whoever represents us in Victoria, they will be part of efforts to help the entire province recover from the economic pain inflicted by the pandemic.
Those that campaign here can be expected to touch on it often and as a chief priority.
Readers are encouraged to let The Free Press know what their priorities are in this election. Beyond the pandemic and community health, we will be on the lookout for what candidates have to say about economic recovery, jobs in the valley, housing affordability and environmental concerns as the campaign goes on.