FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Mayor of the Energetic City, Lori Ackerman, has formally started her journey in pursuing the Liberal nomination for the Peace River North member of legislative assembly.
“I’ve been considering this for awhile,” she said on Tuesday night. “I’ve always said that I would go two terms on council, two terms as mayor, and then decide what path my life would take. This path has opened up, so this is the path I’m on.”
The current Liberal MLA for Peace River North is Pat Pimm, who announced in November his intentions to retire upon the next provincial election. That election is scheduled to take place just over a year away, on May 9, 2017.
Pimm won the liberal candidate role in 2009, when a by-election was held due to Richard Neufeld leaving the role for the senate. Pimm ran against Mayor Ackerman for the title.
Running for the nomination a second time, she says the biggest thing she has taken forward since that experience is making use of her network.
“Over the last four, five, six years, I have built a really strong network and it has held me in good stead,” she said. “We have really actually benefited through the community as a result of the network that I have developed.”
But the mayor doesn’t plan to end her political career at being a member of legislative assembly. She intends to be a cabinet minister, one day, but which ministry is tough to say at this point.
“The ministerial portfolios change, but I think a resource ministry — near and dear to our hearts as something that is important to the people of northeast B.C. — would be appropriate,” she added.
Among the political colleagues who support her campaign to become the next liberal candidate for the riding are former Prince George – Peace River MP Jay Hill, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Bill Streeper, and Fort St. John City Councillor Trevor Bolin.
“Every single day, Lori demonstrates her commitment to improving the lives and the livelihoods of the people in Fort St. John,” Councillor Bolin said. “We could not have a better person working for our region in the whole province of British Columbia.”
The theme of her campaign, Mayor Ackerman says, will be leadership committed to the north, with fiscal management and building relationships as key pillars.
“I would be leaving council, but I wouldn’t be leaving the city,” she said, as a resident of the region for more than 30 years. “I wouldn’t be leaving this region. I would be here, and I would be able to be that voice for the entire region in Victoria.”
There will be a candidate selection meeting that is expected to take place this May, though has not been set yet. Those wishing to cast their vote for a new Liberal candidate in the next election must be registered members of the B.C. Liberal party by April 9.
As the path to appoint a new Liberal candidate for this region is paved, Mayor Ackerman isn’t the only political figure from City Hall to step into the race. Councillor Dan Davies, who was also in the race in 2009 for the new Liberal candidate, has announced his intentions to run this time. He is expected to make an announcement tonight.