Rick Stewart will stand as first Kootenay-Columbia candidate for the new federal People’s Party of Canada in the October 21 election. (Photo submitted)

New political party hoping to make a splash in Kootenays

Rick Stewart running under the banner of the People’s Party of Canada in Kootenay-Columbia

An newly-formed political party is hoping to make an impact during the upcoming federal election in October.

And Kootenay-Columbia is a prime target.

The People’s Party of Canada (PPC), a conservative-leaning party that was created by former Conservative Party cabinet minister Maxime Bernier, is fielding candidates across the country, and Rick Stewart was recently nominated by the party’s riding association membership to run in the Kootenay region.

Stewart, a Nelson-area resident, is a retired professional forester and a former member of the Canadian Forces, who stopped by the Cranbrook Townsman office this week.

READ: People’s Party names Kootenay-Columbia candidate

Stewart had previously run for the Conservative Party nomination, but after becoming disaffected with party leader Andrew Scheer, he migrated over to upstart PPC movement.

“I think Scheer’s a pretty good politician, but I don’t think he’s a good leader, and there’s a difference there,” Stewart said. “He’s moved the party in such a way that he’s left a huge gap for rural conservative values and I think those values are more in need than they ever have been in this country.”

Stewart watched Bernier’s exit from the Conservative Party, immediately donated to his new political party, and got involved in setting up a regional riding association.

Stewart says he is an advocate for fiscal responsibility and expressed concern about the federal debt and spending commitments made through international entities such as the United Nations.

Additional concerns revolve around preserving individual freedoms, ensuring respect and fairness for all Canadians and applying the law equally to everyone.

“I also see a lot of censorship going on with social media, which is critical. I see a lot of what we would call ‘lefties’ in government positions over-regulating, not doing things that are in the best interests of regular Canadians,” said Stewart.

“And there seems to be this push throughout our society to identify as different groups and give them special protection and privileges, whether they be Islam, First Nations, women, whatever.

I think first and foremost that we’re all Canadians first and we should be trying to unite our country and not divide it. I think ‘diversity is our strength’ is a ridiculous statement; I think it should be unity is our strength, as a country.”

Stewart says the regional economy is dominated by the resource industry and argued that not enough revenues generated from the forestry and mining is staying in the Kootenays due to government taxation.

If the PPC is successful, Stewart says the immediate priorities will include eliminating the federal carbon tax and scaling back funding to the United Nations.

From there, further initiatives will include fixing the equalization payment system, a federal policy that makes transfer payments to provincial governments in order to address financial disparities between ‘have’ and ‘have not’ jurisdictions.

Stewart also wants to see the federal government enforce a constitutional provision to get pipeline construction underway from the Alberta oilsands.

He says he doesn’t fear the split of the right-wing vote between the PPC and the Conservatives, both in Kootenay-Columbia and nationally.

“I’m actually hoping for a split,” Stewart said. “I want the PPC to split the Conservative and NDP vote and come right up the middle in this riding. If it doesn’t happen, fair enough. But I don’t see either one of the three outcomes, apart from a PPC win, which is what I think our country and the people in this riding need right now, is a win by PPC.”

Stewart said he had the chance to meet party leader Maxime Bernier at a fundraiser in Kelowna at the end of May. Across the country, the party has 321 electoral district associations out of 338 either set up on in the works ahead of the federal election.

Stewart will be running against incumbent MP Wayne Stetski (NDP) and Rob Morrison (Conservative Party). A federal Liberal Party candidate has yet to be declared, while no independent candidates have stepped forward.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Columbia River Treaty: ‘It is going to get tough’

B.C. negotiator tells Nelson meeting that talks are cordial, so far

Midway man finds new freedom with a dutiful companion

Brett Merchant met his new service dog, Carrie, at a training facility in Ontario in September

Boundary Métis Community Association celebrates Louis Riel in Grand Forks

The association’s next big event will be a Family Day fishing derby at Wilgress Lake in February

Curlers throw in Grand Forks bonspiel

Nearly 100 curlers took over the curling club last weekend for the tournament

Weekend losses for Border Bruins stretch losing streak to six games

The Bruins have been outscored 38-14 over their last six games

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read