Randal Macnair stands in front of the Fernie Courthouse

Former Fernie mayor wins bid to represent Kootenay East as NDP candidate

Randal Macnair, the former mayor of Fernie, has been selected to be the B.C. NDP’s candidate for Kootenay East.

  • Nov. 23, 2016 12:00 p.m.

By Ezra Black

A local New Democrat has ambitions to end 16 years of Liberal rule in Kootenay East.

On Nov. 19, Randal Macnair, the former mayor of Fernie, was selected to be the B.C. NDP’s candidate for the riding in the May 2017 provincial election.

Macnair was first elected to municipal council in 1999 and served as mayor and on the Regional District of East Kootenay Board for six years.

“One of the first things we did when I got elected was put all the meetings on television,” he said. “We increased access to meetings and had more open meetings because very little of the work that government’s do should be done behind closed doors.”

Macnair promised to bring the same transparency to provincial politics if he is elected as MLA for Kootenay East and had sharp words for Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberals.

“When they got into office, they promised that they’d have open cabinet meetings. That didn’t last long,” said Macnair. “The legislature in B.C. has barely sat for the last three and a half years and they just cancelled the entire fall sitting. If you’re not allowing debate and dialogue you’re governing by cabinet decree and you’re having your meetings in private.”

“That to me really speaks to a government that is not transparent and does not want to let people see what’s going on,” he added. “And that’s how Christy Clark operates.”

Local New Democrats cast ballots at the Anglican Church in Cranbrook and selected Macnair over Cranbrook Councillor Norma Blissett.

Blissett pledged to support Macnair in his bid as did B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan.

“Macnair understands Kootenay East through his 15 years as a councillor and mayor. He will be in your corner, unlike Christy Clark, who only seems to look out for people at the top,” said Horgan in a statement.

Born in Victoria, B.C., the Fernie resident has been a museum curator, worked in forestry, fishing, construction and now owns Fernie’s Oolichan Books, which publishes Canadian literary fiction and poetry.

Macnair said his new democratic roots run deep: Both his parents were politically active, his grandmother was a long time party member and he is distantly related to Bob Strachan, the first leader of the B.C. NDP.

Just Posted

Teens youngest members in Fernie SAR history

Desire to help drives Ben Nixon and Josh Goodison to volunteer

Bear sightings prompt call for community action

Elk Valley and South Country residents have been urged to take responsibility… Continue reading

Decision opens door to short-term rentals

The City of Fernie has opened the door to the short-term rental… Continue reading

Fernie businesses go green

Instead of asking if customers need a bag, cashiers will ask if they’re okay without one.

Failing to stop at watercraft inspection station will result in $345 fine

CO Service reminding boaters it is mandatory to stop at watercraft inspection stations

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Air cadets take flight over long weekend

Air cadets recently got the chance to take to the skies in… Continue reading

First Nations excluded from Columbia River Treaty talks

Three Indigenous groups in Southern B.C. Interior will not be involved in upcoming talks.

Big brew tanks headed for Chilliwack wrapped to look like beer cans

Snap a #beertanks selfie if you see massive tanks en route to Chilliwack

UPDATE: Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool passes away

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Most Read