Growing up in the Kootenays, Liberal candidate Don Johnston wants to serve his constituents as MP.
The former Nelson LV Rogers Senior Secondary student announced he would be running for MP in early June after working in community development within Canada and internationally for 40 years.
Johnston has spent the last 12 years employed at the president/CEO level for various companies, which includes six years as CEO for the Columbia Basin Trust.
“I know the riding as much as it’s possible to know the riding,” Johnston said of his experience, adding, “Part of the message that’s going to be a really strong element of our campaign is that we need to think about electing someone who understands the role of MP to do a very good job of representing the wishes of the constituents in Ottawa.”
He went on to say, “With the current government, because everything is so centrally controlled, it’s really not possible for the MP to do a very good job of representing the wishes of the constituents in Ottawa.”
Johnston said that he plans to be a powerful voice in Ottawa — one that can properly represent the concerns of his constituents, including rural concerns.
“Rural issues are kind of falling off the table,” Johnston said, adding that gaining access to education without having to leave home and issues with regards to local infrastructure are two of the main areas Johnston would like to focus on if he is elected as MP for the Kootenay-Columbia riding.
“It’s really important to have a strong voice that understands those issues,” Johnston added.
Thus far, Johnston has visited several communities throughout the riding and he said he plans to connect with as many people as possible between now and Oct.13.
“We will be doing door knocking in every large community in the riding and we’ll be doing phone calling too,” Johnston said, adding, “There’s an awful lot of empirical evidence that face to face meetings are about the only thing that actually ever changes anybody’s idea on who they’re going to vote for.”
If elected as MP, Johnston said he plans to hold annual accountability sessions throughout the riding where he would review what has been working and what needs to be addressed in the future with his constituents.
“I think it just creates a little bit more effective relationship between promises and delivery because you will be held accountable,” Johnston said.