FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the May election just around the corner and all eyes on Christy Clark and the Liberals and John Horgan and the NDP, Jeff Richert is looking to strike a balance.
Richert will be running as an Independent in the election representing Peace River North and hoping to bring a fresh perspective.
“I’ve never really felt represented by a political party in British Columbia and since I’ve moved up here, I’ve never felt represented as a resident of the Peace Region.”
He says he has been frustrated with the B.C. Liberals and their representation here and with the party in general. He also pointed to how the Peace Region has been managed and the people have been treated.
“It is kind of like the Liberals are embracing the boom and ignoring the bust.”
Richert says that his wife encouraged him to do something about his frustration and to take action so, he did.
“She said ‘why don’t you do something to channel that inner frustration and do something positive’ so I decided to run.”
He says he started preparing back in May and has submitted his nomination to Elections B.C. and also has financial agents ready to go.
“Politics today in British Columbia, it seems to be more about parties fighting amongst each other and the needs of the people are lost in that conversation and when we look at the Peace Region, I really think we do need an advocate, not a career politician.”
He won’t be towing what he calls a “party line”. He says nobody is going to tell him what to say besides his constituents.
“I do believe, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who are very frustrated, I think that is the core message here, this region needs somebody who will send the message to Victoria and advocate because that is the difference between an independent and a party member, they are going to tow a party line.”
Richert says the Liberal track record when it comes to projects such as LNG, isn’t stellar.
“I’m going to be realistic on the LNG file, there isn’t going to be 3 projects by 2020. The 2012 documents said there would be one by 2015. We’re seeing Kitimat LNG moving to the wayside recently. There is Pacific NorthWest LNG but Petronas, there revenue is down 95%, that is a problem.”
Site C was another topic that Richert says isn’t being executed properly.
“Is Fort St. John really benefiting from Site C? I think that is my first question. I’m hearing from a lot of people in Fort St. John that don’t think Site C is worth it.”
Richert says he wants to go back to “old school” politics and engage with the people of the Peace Region in person to discuss important issues.
As of now, Richert will be running against Liberal Candidate and Fort St. John City Councillor Dan Davies. Current MLA Pat Pimm will be retiring soon.
For more information on Jeff’s campaign, visit: http://www.voteforjeff.ca/main.html