Grand Forks mayor bows out of NDP candidate race

Mayor Brian Taylor

Grand Forks’ mayor has dropped out of the running for the provincial NDP MLA candidate race.

Brian Taylor says that the main factor was not having enough time.

“Basically it came down to time. I have to make a choice here between my current responsibilities and a very demanding period of campaigning that the party is planning,” Taylor said.

“I admit a certain responsibility for not understanding the process but also there’s been certain circumstances that have changed over the past several months now since I was approached to enter the race.”

Those circumstances include a campaign against candidates in Oliver and Osoyoos, cities closer to the centre of the riding.

Taylor said the riding is an important one, saying that it could be one of the watershed ridings for the province.

“So there is a real commitment there, from whoever is the candidate to have the time available,” he said. “I look at myself here and they’re going to choose a candidate in August probably. My commitments to the city have to come first. I’m elected here now and I’m on a number of important committees on the regional district (RDKB) level, as well as all the issues we’re facing within the city in the next few months so I just can’t see how I can put the two together.”

Taylor said his choice has to be to his current responsibilities to the city and the regional district.

He is chair of the environmental services committee, which is looking at a new kitchen waste diversion program.

He is also second vice-chair on the finance personnel committee and said he has a whole list of policies that he’s recommended come forward for review at the regional table.

On the city side, he said that they’re hoping to put together a referendum question to get on with infrastructure repair.

“That’s a extremely important one,” he said. “We are looking at feasibility studies and various things to do with green energy and our own water supply.”

Taylor said though that since he is no longer running provincially, he will be running once again for mayor of Grand Forks in the coming municipal elections in November.

Taylor also thanked everyone for supporting his run at the provincial level.

“I’m appreciative of the riding association support that I’ve got so far. They’ve been really supportive,” he said. “I hope I don’t disappoint people too much in terms of the support that they’ve given me but you have to make critical decisions at places in your life, so this is one for me.”

He added that he was looking forward to having a provincial influence and the ability to bring some of the issues that the city is getting stalled on but he said he would just have to work harder as mayor.

On June 25 there will be a fundraiser and NDP provincial candidate meeting in Grand Forks. Taylor will be providing the band, Buck Naked and the Saddletramps.

“We’re going to do some new material,” he said. “We’re going to be doing songs specifically for the demographics of the NDP. So we’ll let them guess what that is.”