A veteran of local politics has set his sights on provincial office.
Will Hansma, the former mayor of Spallumcheen, announced Tuesday, that he will pursue the Liberal nomination for the Shuswap constituency.
“I look forward to bringing my experience to the table as an option for membership to choose from in the upcoming selection meeting for a candidate of the Shuswap riding in the beginning of January,” said Hansma, who owns the Okanagan Advertiser newspaper.Hansma was first elected as a Spallumcheen councillor in 1996.
He then went on to serve more than four terms as mayor after winning a byelection in 1998.
He decided not to seek re-election in the 2011 municipal vote.
During his tenure as mayor, Hansma helped secure infrastructure funds from the province which led to improvements to Highway 97A from Swan Lake to Armstrong, and the new recreation facilities in Armstrong.
“The Township of Spallumcheen is one of the largest municipalities in the province and has no debt, I’m very proud of that,” said Hansma.
Married with four children and eight grandchildren, Hansma also operates a small farm and has been involved in agriculture all his life.
“I believe that standing up for the farming community is vitally important,” said Hansma, who has also been a strong advocate for bringing business to the North Okanagan-Shuswap.
Hansma was also a director with the Regional District of North Okanagan.
The Liberals initiated a nomination process after MLA George Abbott decided not to seek re-election in May’s provincial election.
Others seeking the Liberal nomination are Sicamous Councillor Greg Kyllo, Salmon Arm Mayor Marty Bootsma and Jordan Ross of Salmon Arm.