Shuswap campaign underway

Four candidates on the ballot so far for May 14 provincial election

Shuswap candidates didn’t waste any time hitting the hustings as the provincial election campaign began Tuesday.

“I’m driving around and putting up big signs,” said Tom Birch, B.C. Conservative candidate.

“We are absolutely ready to go.”

Birch’s focus leading up to May 14 will be creating awareness about himself and his party.

“My priority is knocking on doors and engaging people where ever they are,” he said.

Birch says many constituents are not happy with the Liberals or the NDP and they are looking for a choice.

“We have to let people know how strong we are as a party. I am already ahead of Greg Kyllo and it will be a race between me and Steve Gunner.

“The NDP and the Liberals have the same philosophy of raise taxes, raise spending and raise debt.”

NDP candidate Steve Gunner  believes Tuesday’s official campaign launch was a formality.

“We were ready a month ago,” said Gunner, who has played an active role in training office volunteers.

“Our signs are going up and we are canvassing furiously.”

Like the other candidates, Gunner expects to spend time touring the constituency.

“We need to get out to people and find out what they want from their government,” he said.

“I’m hearing people feel let down and they are looking for a change for the better.”

With long-time MLA George Abbott retiring, Gunner says the Shuswap is open for all parties.

“I feel very confident but it will  be close,” he said.

Liberal Greg Kyllo has also embraced the campaign.

“I have a great team and lots of volunteers want to participate,” he said.

“I will meet with people in the constituency. I am trying to get a good feeling and understanding for the riding and there’s lots to learn.”

Kyllo is pleased with the response he is getting so far.

“The B.C. Liberals have done a terrific job guiding the province during the economic downturn. There is lot’s of support out there,” he said.

Kyllo is confident about his chances.

“George Abbott has done a terrific job representing the riding. I am looking forward to carrying on his footsteps,” said Kyllo.

Chris George, Green Party candidate, is ready for his first election run.

“I’ve got the key for the campaign office and I’ve been to a couple of forums,” he said.

Generating awareness is also George’s focus.

“I need to talk to people on their doorsteps. I have done some canvassing already and I have some good volunteers,” he said.

“The response to the Green message is off the charts. People want a change and they are simply fed up.”

George is confident the Greens will be a viable option for residents not happy with the other parties.

“It’s going to be a lot closer than people think,” he said.

 

“Some dissatisfied Liberals will come to the Greens because we are a pragmatic party financially.”