With the addition of Dave Birdi (Liberal) and Mike Sawyer (Green) to the list of candidates vying for election in the fall, it would appear we have a full slate in Skeena-Bulkley Valley.
Among the hopefuls we have a couple of former town councillors, Birdi and Claire Rattée (Conservative); a sitting mayor, Taylor Bachrach (NDP); a federal party leader, Rod Taylor (Christian Heritage); an environmental activist, Sawyer; and a political novice, Jody Craven (People’s Party).
They come from diverse backgrounds including farming (Taylor); small business (Bachrach and Rattée); mining (Craven); finance (Birdi); and consulting (Sawyer).
They are all capable people, who have been involved in their communities in a variety of ways, both professional and volunteer.
They represent a very diverse set of viewpoints, all of which have significant constituents within the riding.
In fact, as a group they are a reasonably good representation of the cross-section of society in the Northwest.
In that sense, we are well-served democratically.
They’ve got their work cut out for them.
Demographically, Skeena-Bulkley Valley has the highest percentage of seniors and Indigenous people of any constituency in the province.
Geographically, the riding is the seventh largest in the entire country.
Just campaigning for the big job of representing the riding is a big job.
We salute all the candidates. It takes a lot courage to put yourself out there, to expose yourself to the often vitriolic nature of politics, the cynicism and questioning of your motives, and the microscope that those of us in the media will undoubtedly put you under as you battle for the privilege of being the voice of your fellow citizens in Ottawa.
Things have been pretty quiet so far, but we cannot be long away from the dropping of the writ and the heating of the rhetoric.
So, for now, congratulations and thank you for your service to democracy.