Ken Finlayson didn’t get into politics to win.
“Politics should be about more than just winning — it should be about principles,” Finlayson said.
While the candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo for the fledging People’s Party of Canada admires aspects of many political parties, there are few issues he doesn’t see eye-to-eye on with PPC leader Maxime Bernier.
Having joined the PPC’s local riding association, Finlayson said he stepped up to be the acclaimed flag-bearer, given his past political experience.
He said Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo voters should vote for him on Oct. 21 because “it’s not going to be business as usual — same old politics, same old good old boys in the back room calling the shots.”
He said a PPC government would allow its MPs to speak openly on issues.
If elected, Finlayson said his top issue will be addressing the struggling lumber industry, but he also wants to focus on Indigenous issues, describing the Indian Act as “legislative segregation.”
Though he thinks it’s too optimistic to believe Bernier will win a majority government, Finlayson said it’s not out of the question to think he could hold the balance of power as B.C.’s Green Party does, with its three elected MLAs supporting an NDP government.
“Scheer and Trudeau, according to the polls, are neck and neck,” Finlayson said.
Finlayson described his interest in politics as “a chronic affliction,” noting his aunt inspired him by saying, “if you’re not willing to get involved in politics, you’re doomed to be governed by them that are.”
Born and raised into a farming and ranching family near North Battleford, Sask. Finlayson has been living in B.C. for about 18 months, running a small ranch in Lac la Hache. He has also worked as a tourist guide and truck driver.
Finlayson is no stranger to a federal campaign, having run as an independent candidate in Battlefords-Lloydminster in a 2017 byelection, after being rejected by the Conservative party’s nomination committee.
After his defeat, Finlayson said he gravitated toward the Western Canada Independence Party, noting Canada’s elections are often settled with enough seats won in the east.
While he doesn’t like the fact Bernier is a Quebec politician, Finlayson said Bernier is the only leader committed to addressing inequalities faced by Western provinces, citing issues such as equalization payments.
At the age of 73, Finlayson said he’s not in politics for the pension. If Bernier doesn’t get into a position of power, Finlayson intends to advocate for Western separation.
Q: What specifically do you want to do for/bring to the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding that is not here or being done now?
A: “We need to do something about this forestry industry and one of the things we can do is get access to this huge American market, where we currently face a 20 per cent duty.”
Q: What is the issue most being raised by voters as you talk to them?
A: “The collapse of our forestry industry.”
Q: First past the post or proportional representation?
A: “I think we need some kind of proportional representation to give everyone a voice and some kind of balance.”
Q: In your opinion, who was Canada’s greatest prime minister?
A: Stephen Harper and John A. MacDonald.
Q: If you could not vote for yourself, which other candidate would get your vote?
A: “I guess I’d have to vote for Mrs. [Conservative candidate Cathy] McLeod. Her policies would be closer than any of the rest.”
VITAL STATISTICS AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Lives: Lac la Hache
Family status: Divorced, but in a relationship. Has three adult children and five grandchildren
Facebook: Kamloops PPC
Campaign office: 234 Victoria St.
Find the People’s Party platform online at peoplespartyofcanada.ca/platform