Taylor looking for nod as NDP candidate
The race for the local seat at the provincial legislature includes a new face. Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor filed his nomination papers today to enter as the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate. Expecting a provincial election as soon as September, Taylor hopes that his candidacy could be declared soon but there has been no date set for the local party convention. The NDP has been without a candidate in the Boundary-Similkameen riding since they lost the last election with a close count. “I think it’s very winnable,” said Taylor. “Looking at the dynamics of the last election and what happened, and the vote count – it was no big overwhelming win for (incumbent) John Slater.” Taylor said that Slater’s record on the harmonized sales tax issue is one that the public will remember when it comes to an election in this riding. “I think I can make a difference. It’s a position where you can influence more than a board of directors and your community. This is something where I could put my stamp on some directions by government here that would leave a legacy. I don’t want the city to feel like I’m abandoning them here, but I think I could do a lot for the city and the region in the position of MLA.” Taylor enjoys being involved with politics as a whole. While he will be promoting the provincial NDP platform, he hopes to be able to also have an impact on provincial issues that are of importance to local people. “I see health care as probably being the most critical issue for this area,” said Taylor. “Health care in a broad sense – everything from recreation facilities to housing to emergency care to transport. For example, plans for a helipad at the Boundary Hospital are overdue. This is a direct area where an MLA has direct influence with Interior Health where I don’t think mayors do at all.” Challenges in other parts of the region are an area Taylor admits he needs more education on and will be working with NDP members to learn more to be able to represent the entire region. Taylor was born in Oliver and raised there and Keremeos. With friends spread across the constituency, Taylor is aware of many of the regional challenges. “The fruit industry is in turmoil, the grapes have taken over, and large corporations have taken over a lot of land,” said Taylor. “Small farmers are struggling because of the crops coming up across the border, we can’t compete even on our most fertile areas like the South Okanagan. They can’t compete with the fruit from Omak and other high production areas in Washington State.”
In the meantime, Taylor’s role as mayor of Grand Forks will continue without a hitch. Until he is actually elected as MLA he will continue to work for the city. Even if the election occurs later than expected, Taylor said he will still throw his hat in the ring for another term as mayor.