A new MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke will be chosen Tuesday.
Six candidates are vying to take on the role, as 23,611 registered voters in the riding cast their vote May 9th.
Independent candidate Duncan MacLeod hopes voters think about the power of their ballots.
“Last election, the NDP won with 6,400 or so votes. Liberals were second with about 4,800 votes,” MacLeod says. “Neither one of those numbers adds up to the number of people who didn’t bother to vote, which equals about 12,000 people.”
Fellow independent Justin Hooles agrees, saying change can only be made by voting outside the mainstream parties.
“Things aren’t going to change that much whether you vote between the BC Liberals or the NDP. Its just going to be the same circle that we’ve been stuck in for a long time now,” Hooles says. “You start voting independent, people will have somebody that can look at Bills and make sure they are going to be good for you.”
Green Party candidate Samson Boyer says poverty in the Columbia Valley needs to be dealt with.
“We need to increase the minimum wage to a living wage and potentially even get a basic income pilot going,” Boyer says. “In the last election, we only had 54 per cent of people come out and vote. That’s simply not democracy.”
Gerry Taft with the BC NDP says he hopes to help make it more affordable to live in the Columbia Valley.
“Affordability for housing, but also the affordability around hydro rates and cost of living,” Taft says. “People are really concerned that its becoming too expensive to live in British Columbia.”
And BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok hopes to address a communications breakdown in the riding if elected.
“I’m going to be setting up advisory boards in all four of the major centres. We’re going to be able to work with people more regularly instead of a meeting a month like the past MLA did,” Clovechok says.
Rylan Kashuba with the Libertarians is also seeking your vote, but declined to comment ahead of election day. In an e-mail earlier in the campaign, he said he put his name on the ballot because ‘he wanted a party that he could vote for and still sleep at night.’
Voters can cast their ballot Tuesday, May 9th from 9 am to 9 pm.
– Jeff Johnsonn the ri