The 2017 election race in Prince George-Mackenzie will be a rematch of 2013.
Labour lawyer Bobby Deepak is the only candidate to seek the NDP nomination and will be acclaimed at the party’s nomination meeting March 4.
“I am surprised at the number of people who have asked me to run but mostly I am surprised at the diverse political backgrounds who have come to me to say they are in support,” Deepak said in a press released. “There seems to be an underground swell of support I did not see in the last election.”
Deepak was defeated by Liberal Mike Morris.
Deepak grew up in Fort St. James and has been living in Prince George for the past 20 years. He is a practicing lawyer and part time instructor at the College of New Caledonia, teaching business law, employment law, and criminology.
He says there are three main issues heading into the May 9 election. First is for the north to have a strong and effective voice.
“The people in this riding and region need a government that puts the interest of the average person first, not big corporations and the wealthy,” he said.
The second issue is jobs. While there has been plenty of job creation in the province, it has avoided the north, according to a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study.
“Jobs in the North should first go to people in northern B.C.,” Deepak said. “Christy Clark has been asleep at the switch, but that’s because her ‘free enterprise mantra’ has allowed big corporations, the wealthy and the well-connected to take control of our economy, export jobs, bring in temporary foreign workers, and contract out work to other provinces while the people of B.C. are left holding the bag.”
He said the Clark government has failed to deliver on its promise of liquefied natural gas plants, 100,000 new jobs, and the $100 billion Prosperity Fund, he said.
“In fact, Christy Clark has agreed to allow up to 70 per cent temporary foreign workers in some phases of the Petronas project,” he said.
The third issue is of concern is the economy, he said.
“The economy is not growing equally for everyone and favours the wealthy and the well-connected,” he said. “That is wrong. The rest of us are left with flat wages, rising cost of living and living paycheque to paycheque.”
Deepak said he, and NDP leader John Horgan, will champion “the things British Columbians care about – that includes shortening wait time for health care by solving the shortage of doctors and other health care workers. That includes putting money in your pocket with a $10/day daycare program, phasing out MSP premiums, and local vesting with a $15/hour minimum wage. The more funds people have to spend means more money in our local economies for small business. It’s time that the economy benefitted everyday people.”