Fort St. John city councillor and elementary school teacher Dan Davies launched his bid for the B.C. Liberal nomination for Peace River North in Fort St. John March 23.
To a crowd of about 50 people gathered at The Canadian Grind coffee shop, Davies stressed the importance of maintaining the diversified economies of the region, pushing for adequate health care, local hiring, and strengthening aboriginal relations in government.
“All of our communities up here are based on some sort of resource, whether we’re talking Taylor, Fort St. John or Fort Nelson," Davies said.
"We need to be looking at a sustainable way to do this through LNG, looking at supporting the forest industry, and investing into our agricultural industry.
“You can’t lose sight of those other industries and focus only on one item. We’ve got to make sure that we are maintaining our diversified economy,” he said.
He added that getting liquefied natural gas projects approved is a “game changer,” and that one of his most pressing goals is “making sure that our government hears us loud and clear that LNG is good for us, and it is good for the economy.
“Our governments need to move forward,” he said.
Davies is in the running for the nomination alongside Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, who announced her bid March 22. Both are looking to replace MLA Pat Pimm, who announced his plans to retire in November. A nomination meeting for the local riding association is planned for May.
Like Ackerman, Davies ran for the nomination in 2009, when Pimm first won the party’s nod on the third ballot. Davies also ran for the federal Conservative nomination for Prince George – Peace River in 2011, which he lost to current MP Bob Zimmer.
“I learned a lot from that campaign, and what I took away from the most was how each community in our region plays a really important role and makes us who we are,” Davies said.
“I want to make sure that I bring that forward as I move on as an MLA.”
Prior to his announcement, Davies had been in Fort Nelson where, if elected, he said he intends to open up an MLA outreach office a couple of days a week, “so people know that they can count on going somewhere to have their concerns heard.”
While Ackerman had a handful of dignitaries endorse her bid, including Fort Nelson Mayor Bill Streeper, former MP Jay Hill, Coun. Trevor Bolin, and Kory Wood of Kikinaw Energy Services, Davies says he’s not interested collecting endorsements.
“I’m not running for politicians, I’m running for the constituents of Peace River North. That’s the endorsement that I am seeking,” he said, adding that he has turned down “a number of people” who have offered to endorse his campaign.
In order to vote, residents have to be 14 years or older, and become members of the B.C. Liberal Party 28 days prior to casting their ballots.
A date for the vote has not yet been set, but Davies says it will likely be in May.