Cavers considers provincial run to talk Ajax
He’s tried his luck twice federally and once at the local level.
Now, rookie Kamloops councillor Donovan Cavers is considering another bid, this time in the provincial election on May 14.
Cavers told KTW he’s considering a provincial campaign because he wants to make sure the proposed Ajax mine is a subject of debate during the election.
“The provincial government is the main body that will make the decision about the Ajax mine and I foresee the possibility that the NDP and the Liberals will both try to talk about it as little as possible because it’s such a touchy subject,” he said.
Cavers is one of only two city councillors to take a public position on the proposed open-pit copper and gold mine, which would be built south of Aberdeen.
Both he and Tina Lange oppose the project, calling it a bad fit with the city’s Tournament Capital image.
Other councillors have held off on taking a stand on the mine, saying they are waiting for the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office to conduct its review of the project.
That’s the line Cavers said he’s also expecting to hear during the provincial election.
“They’ll probably just say that the process is underway and they might criticize the process to some degree, that it’s not robust enough, but they won’t pre-empt the decision,” he said.
But, Cavers feels that’s not enough, arguing local candidates should be offering voters a position on Ajax.
“I think locally it’s quite a significant issue. It’s arguably the most significant issue to face the city since amalgamation 40 years ago.”
Cavers will make a final decision this month on whether to seek a seat in the B.C. legislature.
“I need to talk to people and, definitely, my priority is city council right now, and if people saw it as taking away from that, then I wouldn’t want to pursue running,” he said.
“But, my motivations would be mainly around the Ajax mine and I would see it sort of as an extension of my duties as a city councillor to look out for the best interests of Kamloops.”
If he does decide to campaign, it will either be as an independent or Green Party nominee.
While Cavers ran for the federal Greens twice — in 2011 and 2008 — he told KTW he’s leaning toward an independent candidacy if he decides to run, to make it clear he’s campaigning on a local issue.
B.C. laws don’t prohibit Cavers from holding onto his city council should he also be elected an MLA.
However, should he run and win, Cavers said won’t try to pull double-duty and would give up his council position.