Liberal candidate Gordon Stamp-Vincent spent three days on the islands last week, knocking on doors, meeting with councils and gaining the support of former candidate Miles Richardson.
Mr. Stamp-Vincent said he found many island voters undecided, and just starting to focus on the Jan. 23 election after the holiday festivities.
Back in Prince Rupert on Friday, he said that if elected he will chase down the bureaucrats responsible for the northern residents tax deduction and force them to give islanders the full deduction instead of the partial deduction we now receive.
He said islanders deserve the full deduction because of our isolation and the high cost of goods and transportation.
“We are going to bring all the pressure we can to bear on it,” he said. “I don’t see the logic and where there’s no logic it has to change. How hard is this to change? It’s a postal code, not rocket science.”
Mr. Stamp-Vincent also vowed to get the federal approval necessary to transfer the South Moresby Forest Replacement Account to the islands, something the Gwaii Trust Society has been working on for many years.
“Once the election is over, that will be delivered,” he said.
The candidate met with Masset council, the Forest Guardians, the Skidegate band council and Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha, in addition to door knocking.
Major concerns in Skidegate are fisheries allocations, recreation facilities, building a healing centre and completing the Qay’llnagaay Heritage Centre.
All these items deserve federal attention and where necessary, federal funding, he said.
Mr. Stamp-Vincent said he heard loud and clear that islanders don’t like politicians who visit during the campaign, and then are never seen again.
“It won’t be 20 years til I come back,” he said. “My commitment is I will visit the communities regularly.”
The five candidates running in this riding held their first debate Thursday evening in Kitimat, and Mr. Stamp-Vincent said between 50 and 100 people turned out, even though the event was not advertised and was held the same night as the World Junior hockey gold medal game.
However, he said he was surprised by the negative tone of the some of the candidates, who made very critical remarks about each other.
“In my view, that’s unacceptable,” Mr. Stamp-Vincent said.
The Liberal candidate said he was excited about his party’s BC agenda, released Friday morning in Vancouver. Mr. Stamp-Vincent said the key commitments are a disaster preparedness research centre for BC, the promises made to aboriginal communities in the Kelowna Accord, a regional economy development agency just for BC, a $125-million Terry Fox Research Institute in Vancouver, and a wild salmon policy.
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