ELECTION 2020 Q&A: NDP - Cory “Grizz” Longley - “best person for South Peace needs”

1.What specific reason(s)are you running to be the Member of Legislative Assembly for the South Peace?

Thank you for the question. I’m running to be the Peace River South MLA, because we need a solid representative in place that has a free and open line of communication with the party in power. I am confident that John Horgan will form a majority government at the conclusion of this election. The South Peace deserves a real place at the table where the important decisions are being made.

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As a working tradesperson and  father of three, I think John Horgan and the BCNDP have done a fantastic job making life better for people. He’s protecting our province through COVID-19, and I know he’s going to look out for me and my family as the economy recovers. I also think it is time for the Northeast of our province to have a progressive voice in government, representing everyone, not just the top 1%.

 

2. How does an MLA in the far north of any province as we are here, connect with the capital that is always completely removed geographically and issue wise from most of the provincial capitals across Canada? The riding of Churchill has the same issue with Winnipeg in Manitoba, northern Ontario ridings

Compared to Toronto, etc.

The natural resources that help to make our province a rich and wonderful place to live come from our area, so the more populated areas down south will always need to maintain a good relationship with us. I would like to see more of our resources being value-added within the region, keeping good jobs and wealth within our community. As the MLA for Peace River South, it will be my job to make sure those relationships become stronger and more fruitful, and to bring the concerns of our area to Victoria.

 

3. One provincial issue that is certainly a made in Dawson Creek problem, is the city’s annual reliance of capital monies for annual operating costs. If you were the provincial representative of the area, how would you define DC city council’s job in getting off the provincial funds for day to day operations?

As I am not a duly elected representative of our municipal government, I would hesitate to direct Mayor and Council in these matters, as their mandate comes from the citizens of Dawson Creek.

In my personal opinion, there is no reason that the timelines to switch from operating to capital costs can not be spread out over a longer period, in order to ease the transition for residents and local businesses. Perhaps a better person to answer this question would be our former Mayor Mike Bernier, who was the head of local government when these decisions were made.

As MLA, I would like to see local governments empowered with more flexibility to make the important changes they need to for the community. I would like to see municipalities better able to adapt to financial challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

4. What provincial issues are the BC Liberals failing that the BC NDP has the solutions to?

The BC Liberals have proven that they have nothing to contribute in regards to housing affordability or health care, that they have nothing to offer the working/middle class, and that they are unable to make a deal to extend their time in government.

 

5. What South Peace issues are the BC Liberals failing that the NDP has the solutions to?

The BC NDP has committed to building a brand new Dawson Creek & District hospital by 2025, a promise that Mike Bernier was never able to secure during his years in government. The BC NDP is also funding a new bridge on 8th Street, a vital piece of infrastructure that was nearly destroyed in the flooding of 2016. I was also thrilled to see the announcement of a provincially funded 30 unit supportive housing project, a sorely needed resource in our community.

 

6. In your particular case, does a BC Conservative candidate simply divide voters with an unrealistic option to form Government? Would not the area be better to have a representative in at least Opposition, or Government, instead of a third party in the Legislature/Parliament in Victoria?

Peace River South is an interesting riding – we have had independent representatives in the legislature before, and they have done well for our region. In this particular case, I would say that the more candidates we have running, the better served are the voters and the broader the range of democracy. There is obviously dissension between the conservative folks in our region, which shows that the BC Liberals are not representing everyone within their “big tent” structure. Everybody has the chance to vote for a candidate that truly represents them in this election. Yay democracy!

 

7. In this South Peace election the ED of the Chamber of Commerce is in the running, who works relatively close with the current MLA in her day job. Regardless of political party – does her running against Bernier indicate to you that the Chamber does not think the incumbent MLA has done a good job?

Clearly the Executive Director of the Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce does not think that our MLA is doing the job he could or should be doing for our community. Her actions indicate to busines owners that Mike may not be doing the best job he could for the region, and they would be better represented by someone like her. Does this necessarily reflect the views of the Chamber of Commerce? It’s difficult to say.

 

8. Is there anything else I have not touched upon that you would like to mention and have attached to your campaign?

As President of CUPE Local 2403 and Dawson Creek Citizen of the Year in 2007, I have proven that I have the leadership skills and initiative to represent my members, and I would be thrilled to continue this work on a larger scale by representing the South Peace at the provincial level. I am the best person running in this region to bring forward the concerns and needs of the South Peace to government.

As a member of the sitting government, I would have easy access to our Premier and cabinet ministers, and be able to continuously advocate for our region. It’s time for everyone in our area to be truly represented in government, by a party and candidate that is determined to work on your behalf.

 

All candidates were asked the same questions.

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