January 29, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE — With community and business leaders from throughout Northern BC gathering in Prince George for the annual Natural Resources Forum, the BC Liberal Election Readiness Committee has opened the party’s nomination for the Stikine electoral district — which includes Smithers, Telkwa, the Hazeltons, Stewart, Atlin, and Dease Lake.

Stikine is currently represented by the NDP’s Doug Donaldson. As Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, Donaldson has overseen the NDP government’s total failure to serve British Columbia’s rural and resource-dependent communities.

“The current MLA for Stikine has failed to stand up for BC’s rural communities, and the thousands of families that depend on our resource sector,” said Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal leader. “We’re excited to put forward a candidate who will be a strong voice for the people of Stikine, and join our renewed team as we fight for jobs, prosperity, and opportunity for all of BC.”

Donaldson’s record as minister has included:

—Dozens of mill closures and curtailments, costing thousands of jobs in BC’s forest sector.

—The raiding of the $25-million Rural Dividend Fund, forcing the cancellation or disruption of community development projects throughout rural BC.

—Support for the blockade of the Coastal GasLink pipeline — a project supported by First Nations all along the route and essential to the success of LNG opportunities.

“As Northern and rural BC continue to face significant challenges, this government and MLA have been missing in action,” said Shirley Bond, BC Liberal MLA for Prince George-Valemount and member of the party’s Election Readiness Committee. “The people of Stikine need an MLA who will stand up for them and ensure that their voices and concerns are heard. We are excited about the opportunity to ensure that happens with the election of a BC Liberal MLA in the Stikine riding.”

The opening of the BC Liberal nomination means that prospective candidates may now submit letters of intent and begin the Party’s due diligence process.

A date for a candidate selection meeting will be set by the Party in the coming weeks, in consultation with the local riding association.

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Deanie Wong

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