Columbia River- Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald accepted the nomination for NDP candidate for the riding at a meeting in which was held in Kimberley on Oct. 28.
Macdonald, who was first elected MLA in 2005, currently serves as the Opposition Critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Caucus Chair.
“It was a good meeting. I am officially a candidate, even though it is six months to go before the election, but really since Christy Clark became Premier it feels like we have been in constant election mode,” Macdonald said. “People here in Golden are paying for a legislature. It is our democratic tool and it is important that it works when it is supposed to. The cancellation of the fall session was done for no other reason than to protect the government from the scrutiny that it is supposed to stand up to.”
He added that in his opinion the province would have been better served if there had of been a fall session of the legislature but campaigning is something he enjoys doing.
“It is always exciting to represent Golden. I taught here and represented teachers. I served on council and as mayor. For eight years people have supported me in opposition. I think most British Columbians have decided that the government needs to change and I am sure it will change next May. Golden deserves representation in the heart of that new government,” he said.
Macdonald said that Golden and the whole Columbia Valley has been through some tough times, but there is a brighter future with the Harmonized Sales Tax soon to be a part of the past, along with the forestry industry picking up.
Macdonald also felt that the work on the Trans Canada Highway must continue to go forward.
“People in Golden must feel that their voices will be heard in a whole host of areas. What people here have shown is that they are willing to stand up make sure they are heard. They have done that through electing an opposition member. They have done that through an incredible amount of participation,” he said.
As for the meeting in Kimberley, Macdonald said the message was loud and clear.
“It is what you hear everywhere. It is time for a change of government. That is what you hear in the riding…it is the same thing everyone is saying. People are clear, they not only want a change but they want a change for the better. Governing not only for certain elements of the population but for everyone.”
Macdonald added that people in British Columbia are reasonable about their expectations and just want to be able to trust the government in power.
Earlier this week as part of the “Defend our Coast” political action, residents from the community turned up at the MLA’s constituency office.
Macdonald met with the group and was happy they dropped by his office to have their voices heard.
“It was a group who came together through social media. It was wonderful to see. They were coming to say with regards to the Enbridge pipeline that there is an awful lot at stake in regards to our oceans, rivers and lands,” he said. “We shouldn’t be doing any project if it means we permanently damage the environment.”
As for the next six months Macdonald sees a fight ahead but it is something he is prepared for.
“You have to be willing to work very hard and earn the trust of the people you hope to represent,” he said. “We campaign with a certain style in the Kootenays and in Golden. We depend on a lot of grass roots volunteers. When people are volunteering for you, then you have to work every bit as hard as the volunteers and earn the support they give you.”