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Sharp first to seek B.C. Conservative nomination
A former Kamloops city councillor is the first person to seek the B.C. Conservative Party’s nomination in Kamloops-South Thompson.
Peter Sharp, vice-president of the Conservative’s riding association , announced his intentions on Monday, Nov. 26, saying he has “lost faith” with the Liberals and NDP.
Sharp is a retired RCMP officer who served on Kamloops city council for six years before losing his seat in the 2005 election.
He tried twice to regain the seat without success.
Sharp points to two Conservative policies he thinks will resonate with Kamloops-South Thompson voters: The party’s plans to scrap the provincial carbon tax and its pledge to put more funding into the backlogged court system.
“If you live out of the Lower Mainland — or la la land, or whatever you want to call it — as you move further north, you pay more for carbon tax than anyone else,” he said, “because we use more fuel, we drive further distances, we have to use more heating during the winter months and, as a result, we pay more than our share of the carbon tax.”
Though recent polls have shown declining support for the B.C. Conservatives (an Angus-Reid poll conducted last week pegged support at 12 per cent, the party’s lowest level in about a year), Sharp said there’s still time for a rally.
He also downplayed party infighting, which led to the expulsion of a number of members earlier this fall.
“It’s not the only party with problems,” he said, pointing to the B.C. Liberals’ riding association in Abbotsford-South, where the president and other members of the board resigned after a candidate was appointed by higher-ups in the party.
Sharp is expected to face at least one other challenger for the Kamloops-South Thompson nomination.
Al Forseth, regional director for the Conservatives, said another candidate will likely make an official announcement in the coming days. He said the riding association in Kamloops-North Thompson is also meeting with “a number of people.”
Nomination meetings for both ridings are expected in early February.
Forseth said that’s still enough time for the Conservative nominees to run solid campaigns.
Sharp said he’s not concerned about having less time to campaign than Liberal candidate Todd Stone or the NDP’s Tom Friedman.
“I believe that Todd Stone has some catching up to do because, while he lives in the area, he’s not as well known,” Sharp said. “And, so he’s, out there now hitting the stumps.”