Doug Donaldson and Melanie Mark at his nomination in November.

Doug Donaldson and Melanie Mark at his nomination in November.

Candidate profile: Doug Donaldson

NDP incumbent candidate for Stikine Doug Donaldson

This profile was first published on Nov. 23.

Incumbent NDP candidate Doug Donaldson was acclaimed at a November nomination meeting in Hazelton, where the first First Nations woman elected to the legislature, Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant NDP MLA Melanie Mark, was a guest speaker. Donaldson, who has represented Stikine since 2008 and is the spokesperson for Energy and Mines, said he is connecting the dots between jobs, the environment and the government working with First Nations.

Approval and the Province advocating for the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal near Prince Rupert, which has a natural gas pipeline planned to run north of Hazelton, was a problem to Donaldson.

“I want to say yes to local jobs in our natural resources, and the proposal as it is now on Lelu Island is temporary foreign workers.

“I’m saying yes to wild salmon and the jobs they bring. And I’m saying yes to aboriginal title,” he said.

“The Premier has called people, hereditary chiefs who disagree with her approach, as ragtags. I think that kind of divisive politics is not the way that we move forward together — First Nations and non-First Nations in Stikine.”

Donaldson said the focus on LNG has cost other sectors of the economy.

“When I look at putting all our eggs in one basket on an LNG dream that the Premier had, has led to other areas that area important to Stikine, like forestry and like mining and like agriculture, not getting the attention they deserve,” he said.

“Those are real jobs happening right now and we’re losing out on opportunities. I think of, for example, Seaton Forest Products (in Moricetown) that I just visited … and the kind of value that they’re adding to logs that were going up in smoke. “That’s the kind of industry and the kind of initiatives that we have to get behind a lot more.”

Other issues Donaldson pointed to were the child poverty rate, education funding, and hydro prices going up.

“One in five children in the province live in poverty, and an incredible one in ten go to bed hungry. I think we can do better than that based on the wealth of this province, and we will do better than that under an NDP government,” he said.