The Liberals recently announced that homegrown Kootenay resident and former Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) CEO Don Johnston plans to lead the Liberals to victory as he runs for Member of Parliament (MP) in the Kootenay-Columbia riding.
Running against current Conservative MP David Wilks and former Cranbrook mayor and NDP leader Wayne Stetski, Johnston brings 40 years of experience working in community development to the race, in addition to 30 years of senior management experience.
“I have many years of hands on experience dealing with the challenges and opportunities of running successful organizations and hold a Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia,” Johnston said in a press release. “I believe profoundly in the importance of community based organizations.”
Johnston’s experience includes six years of working as the CEO of the CBT, in addition to being the president and CEO of Canada World Youth and Canadian Executive Services Organization.
Outside of his professional life, Johnston noted that he has also spent countless hours volunteering and participating in community affairs, including being a board member, an advisory committee member, a coach and a public speaker.
“My experience as an organizer, facilitator, participant and speaker at international conferences and workshops in places as wide spread as Canada, Shanghai, Beijing, Manila, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Australia has been very diverse,” he said.
As to the reason behind his candidacy, Johnston said he believes his unique set of skills and experience combined with a strong personal knowledge of the region will allow him to work effectively with other Liberals across the riding.
“I am putting my name forward as a candidate for the nomination to be the Liberal party candidate for the Kootenay-Columbia riding because I truly believe we all need to take personal initiatives to create the conditions for a change in government,” Johnston declared. “As a national party it is essential to govern for all Canadian for the long term and to respect the democracy that gives Canadians their voice.”
Johnston went on to say, “My Canada is a Canada that respects democracy and that encourages political dialogue and active citizen engagement.”
Johnston’s platform includes representing urban communities, returning integrity and respect to national leadership, engaging with governments on an international level in order to bring Canada’s voice and respect back to the international stage and facilitating national level discussions and programs on health care and environment.
“We need to build a strong, inclusive and resilient Liberal team for the Kootenay-Columbia riding,” Johnston said.