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Dawson Creek Chamber leaves coalition after Fraser enters MLA race

Mayor is co-chair of resource coalition, facing off against B.C. Liberal Dan Davies in Peace River North.
Rob Fraser is running as an Independent in the upcoming provincial election.

Dawson Creek’s Chamber of Commerce is stepping aside from a local government coalition aimed at promoting natural resource development after the group’s co-chair announced a plan to run for MLA. 

Earlier this month, Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser announced he was running as an independent candidate in Peace River North, facing off against B.C. Liberal candidate and Fort St. John city councillor Dan Davies. 

Fraser also co-chairs the Northeast B.C. Resource Municipalities Coalition, a local government coalition aimed at promoting resource development.  

In a release Jan. 23, Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce President Wanda Maundrell said the organization wanted to avoid partisan politics and would withdraw its membership “ until such a time as we feel these issues have been resolved to our satisfaction.”

“Our board feels that it is not in the best interest of our membership for us to be engaged in partisan politics,” she wrote. “We engaged with the coalition under the impression we would be focusing on issues in Northeast B.C. and not partisan politics.”

Davies beat out Mayor Lori Ackerman for the B.C. Liberal nomination in Peace River North last year. Fraser announced his candidacy this month, saying he wanted to bring an independent voice to the legislature. 

On Sunday, MP Bob Zimmer made the unprecedented move of endorsing B.C. Liberal candidates in both Peace River ridings.  

While the coalition has added a number of industry groups since launching in 2014, several South Peace municipalities left the organization in 2015, including Dawson Creek. 

Reached for comment Jan. 24, Fraser said he was stepping aside as co-chair during the provincial election race, but the move had not been finalized and communicated to the coalition's membership, he added. The election is set for May 9. 

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