Former city council candidate Dennis Giesbrecht will run under the Conservative flag in the upcoming provincial election as the party’s candidate for Kamloops-North Thompson.
Making the announcement outside the Trans Mountain pipe yard along Mission Flats Road, Giesbrecht emphasized the need for resource jobs and the benefits they create.
“We need a government who will encourage responsible resource development, not one committed to using its energy in fighting these investments,” Giesbrecht said, noting that’s why he chose the pipe yard location in Kamloops-South Thompson as the site of his candidacy announcement.
Giesbrecht said he believes Kamloops voters will connect with the Conservatives’ five-point plan, which calls for a scrapping of B.C.’s carbon tax, privatizing car insurance, government support for resource development, an environmental plan that doesn’t involve taxes and an emphasis on people over party politics.
The Conservatives did not run candidates in the last provincial election, in 2017 and, according to Giesbrecht, will likely not run a candidate in Kamloops-South Thompson this year.
Ed Klop carried the parry’s flag in Kamloops-North Thompson in the 2013 provincial election, finishing third in a four-candidate race while garnering seven per cent (1,644 votes) of the vote.
Asked how he will convince people to vote Conservative, given the recent absence from the polls, Giesbrecht said he wants people to check out the platform and decide for themselves. He said he believes people are looking for change and to have the option of choosing someone who represents their views, rather than just picking the candidate’s party with which they are in the least disagreement. Having gathered signatures on his nomination papers from about 85 per cent of people he engaged with in the past few days, Giesbrecht believes that response shows the Conservatives can make a bigger splash in the riding.
Asked what it will take to flip the Kamloops-North Thompson riding blue, given its reputation as a B.C. Liberal stronghold, Giesbrecht said it’s about getting the message out to voters.
“Many people I talk to are conservative-leaning folks who are tired of plugging their noses and picking the least objectionable candidate,” Giesbrecht said.
Touching on forestry specifically, Giesbrecht said the province needs to push for a renewed softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. and lower stumpage fees.
He said what sets him apart from the other candidates is his experience in the oil and gas sector— knowledge he hopes to bring to Victoria.
Having grown up in nearby Logan Lake, Giesbrecht has a background in the trades, helped initiate a needle buy-back program that saw tens of thousands of discarded needles removed from around the city, and has also volunteered helping new Canadians in gaining computer skills.
Giesbrecht said he has been working with the B.C. Conservatives for years and a desire to see more choice on the ballot spurred him to run in the Oct. 24 election.
Giesbrecht is the fifth candidate to announce a run in Kamloops-North Thompson, joining B.C. New Democrat Sadie Hunter, B.C. Green Thomas Martin, B.C. Liberal Peter Milobar and independent candidate Brandon Russell, though final candidate lists will be released by Elections BC on Friday (Oct. 2) afternoon.
In the Kamloops-South Thompson riding, confirmed candidates are Dan Hines (B.C. Green), Todd Stone (B.C. Liberal) and Anna Thomas (B.C. NDP).