Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo candidates are gearing up for the federal election campaign, assembling teams, organizing offices and getting out into the region knocking on doors.
Canada’s 43rd federal election is on Oct. 21. The writ drops in September, meaning it is still early days, however KTW caught up with the candidates as they get organized.
Incumbent Conservative MP Cathy McLeod was in Barriere on Wednesday door-knocking and hosting a community barbecue for about 70 people, as she seeks to secure her fourth term in this fall’s election.
McLeod said she is balancing campaign and constituency work and intends to open campaign offices in Kamloops and 100 Mile House next month. Her campaign will again be managed by Deborah Petersmeyer while Russ Cundari will act as chair.
Liberal candidate Terry Lake also has his team in place. Lake’s former campaign manager, Henry Peril, is back and others on his team include SD73 communications manager Diana Skoglund, United Way’s Brenda Ainsley, SD73 trustee John O’Fee and Thompson Rivers University dean of business Mike Henry.
“It’s a great team and I’ve been very humbled by people wanting to step up,” Lake said.
Reached on Wednesday, Lake said he will soon open his campaign office at 448 Victoria St. across from the Thompson Nicola Regional District downtown.
Door-knocking is already underway, he said.
NDP candidate Gina Myhill-Jones told KTW she has enjoyed door-knocking so far, mostly in Kamloops and 100 Mile House.
“We’re just finding a good pace and I’m finding people really receptive to talking about policies and issues,” she said.
Those issues so far among residents include the forestry industry and transportation in rural areas. She hopes to also start a conversation about PharmaCare.
Myhill-Jones’ campaign office and manager have yet to be hammered out, but her team includes veteran NDPers Bill Sundhu and Michael Crawford.
Green Party candidate Iain Currie had just arrived at his campaign office, located at 135 Victoria St. next to Bikini Bills downtown, when he spoke to KTW on Thursday.
Currie’s campaign manager is Jordan Bober, who managed Dan Hines and Donovan Cavers last provincial campaign. Voters can expect to see him door-knocking, at the farmers’ market and on social media.
People’s Party candidate Ken Finlayson has booked a meeting with the Rotary Cub of Kamloops in September and is working on business cards, buttons and banners. Finlayson doesn’t have a campaign manager or office.
“We’re starting pretty quick here,” he said.
Communist Party candidate Peter Kerek will lead a less traditional campaign. He won’t have a campaign office and will not be door-knocking. He called it a “fallacy” that door-knocking wins elections.
His strategy is to place a table at various events, and sit down and talk to people. His party, meanwhile, will have its platform finalized over the summer. His team includes Beat Klossner and wife Melissa Kerek. He does not have a campaign manager.
“This is the way I’ve done campaigns in the past and a lot of it comes down to difference in philosophies,” Kerek said. “We have a lot less money in our hands.”