No matter what, there’ll will be a new Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kootenay East after Tuesday.
Four candidates are trying to succeed former Liberal MLA Bill Bennett who has represented the riding since 2001.
Cranbrook City Councillor Tom Shypitka is trying to take over the reigns for the Liberals.
Shypitka is running on three main issues: job creation and retention in the Elk Valley, wildlife management and healthcare.
He says our region is heavily dependent on resources and they need to make sure the mining industry is healthy but they also have to work to grow the economy with other so-called “micro-industries”.
Former Fernie Mayor Randal Macnair is the local nominee for the BC NDP.
Macnair says his priority if he is elected would be addressing the child poverty rate in BC, as our province has one of the highest rates in Canada.
He suggests we need childcare and support for families as well as an education system that nurtures children from an early age right through until they’re looking to start a career.
Elk Valley school teacher Yvonne Prest is running for the Green Party.
Prest says she was motivated to enter the race because she couldn’t trust the current BC government and was inspired after meeting BC Green party leader Andrew Weaver and federal Kootenay-Columbia Green candidate Bill Green.
She wants to see the riding to establish accountable and sustainable methods of commerce that compliment constituents’ love of the outdoors.
Finally, Keith Komar rounds out the cast as a representative of the Libertarian Party.
Komar, who works as a brick layer in Cranbrook, says as the local Liberal and NDP candidates began attacking each other during the campaign, it became more clear why exactly he decided to run in this election.
He says it looked like a couple of monkeys sitting in the zoo throwing excrement at each other.
Komar suggests he’s the candidate that will reduce red tape in Victoria for East Kootenay businesses and entrepreneurs.
Kootenay East has an estimated 30,022 registered voters (as of April 11th, 2007).
– Josh Hoffman