Is Miles Richardson – the former president of the Council of the Haida Nation who now heads the BC Treaty Commission – thinking about running for the federal Liberals in the Skeena riding?, Alex Rinfret writes.
Brian Mitchell, communications manager at the BC Treaty Commission office, told the Observer it’s just a rumour at this point, and that Mr. Richardson hasn’t said anything about it.
But Ray Jones, president of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley federal Liberal riding association, said he has spoken to Mr. Richardson several times over the past month about the matter.
“He’s been contemplating it,” Mr. Jones said. “But he hasn’t gotten back to me yet” with a firm answer.
If Mr. Richardson does decide to run, he will join a long list. Seven candidates – many with high profiles in this region – have already filed their papers and put their names forward to run for the candidacy, Mr. Jones said. They are:
Â• Michelle Adkins, a Haida lawyer who works for the federal Department of Justice in Ottawa.
Â• David McGuigan, an oil and gas lobbyist and retired banker from Prince Rupert.
Â• Bill Parmar, a Prince Rupert businessman.
Â• Harry Nyce, a Nisga’a leader and former chair of the Kitimat-Stikine regional district.
Â• Bob Hill, president of the Tsimshian Tribal Council.
Â• Matt Vickers, chief executive of the Gitksan Government Commission and a former senior manager of aboriginal banking for the Royal Bank.
Â• Bruce Martindale, a Terrace businessman.
Mr. Jones said Jack Talstra, the mayor of Terrace, is also thinking about putting his name forward, but has not yet filed papers. He expects that the nomination meeting will be held in the not-too-distant future.
Rhoda Witherly of Prince Rupert, who ran for the Liberals in previous federal elections, has said she will not be entering the race this time around, Mr. Jones said.
The huge number of candidates reflects heightened local interest in the federal Liberal party since Paul Martin took over as leader, Mr. Jones said.
“It has a lot to do with the new prime minister, there’s a deep trust for him,” he said.
The federal Skeena riding has been expanded and now extends to Fort St. James in the east and to Bella Coola in the south.
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