John McDivitt wants to stop payment on Hwy 16 bus to Burns Lake

Telkwa mayor candidate McDivitt said the poor condition of Telkwa’s water pushed him to run.

Coarse language is used in this article.

Change is coming to Telkwa.

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen has announced he will not be seeking reelection, opening the door for someone else to lead the village.

Telkwa Senior Housing Society president John McDivitt and current Village of Telkwa councillor Brad Layton are vying for the job.

McDivitt, who served two terms as a village councillor for one term in the early 2000s and the other in the previous council, said the poor condition of Telkwa’s water pushed him to run.

“I have been drinking horrible water for about four years and it stinks,” McDivitt said. “I decided nobody done nothing and I was labeled a bitcher, so the best bet is [to] fix the problem myself.”

McDivitt said he is already in contact with someone knowledgeable about water treatment plants that can fix the issue.

If elected, McDivitt said he would cancel Telkwa’s contract with BC Transit for the bus that travels from Smithers to Burns Lake and back, stopping in Telkwa along the way three times per week.

According to McDivitt, this would save the Village $6,750 a year.

That bus route has all municipalities and regional districts along Highway 16 pay for routes from Terrace to Prince George. The $5 Smithers-Burns Lake route and $2.75 Smithers-Witset route are the least used according to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, which listed about 100 rides per month on the Burns Lake route and 90 per month on the Witset route as of this past February.

Prince Rupert chose not to take part in the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan program, though BC Bus North replaced Greyhound and connects the coast to Prince George weekly. Telkwa does not pay for BC Bus North, which is backed by $2 million in provincial funding.

Read more: BC Bus North ridership rising

Smithers and Telkwa also have a bus route that runs Monday to Saturday.

Another priority for McDivitt is lowering taxes. The housing society president said he would drop taxes on sewer and water by $400 in his first year.

When asked how the Village, which has struggled financially for a number of years, could afford this, McDivitt said would institute a hiring freeze and stop unnecessary purchases to come up with the money.

McDivitt pointed to the Village buying a new plow truck as wasteful spending.

The housing society president also proposed using tax breaks to attract more businesses to Telkwa.

McDivitt said he isn’t interested in the fame or power that comes with being mayor as he simply wants to do what’s best for the village.

“I strongly think politicians, especially here, they might go in with really good ideas [but] once they get a taste of politics they want something more,” McDivitt said.

“They want provincial politics or federal politics … and they forget who elected them in the first place.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read