Another person has thrown his name in the ring to run for the NDP in the riding of Cariboo North.
Quesnel resident and city councillor Sushil Thapar confirmed that he’s been nominated to run. The official nominating convention will take place in Quesnel on Jan. 20 at the Royal Canadian Legion.
Cariboo rancher Duncan Barnett announced that he was seeking nomination in December.
Thapar was a Science teacher in India for over two years before moving to Canada to begin a new life.
He arrived in Quesnel in 1991, and since 1996 has been a member of the United Steelworkers Union, and has been on city council since 2003.
“Over the past decade I have held a number of portfolios and dealt with a number of issues that included protection services, finances, rebuilding infrastructure and organizing Quesnel Family Days for the last ten years in a row,” he said. He has also worked in the forest industry for the last 20 years performing different roles from unskilled worker to management positions.
“I have always held a keen interest in politics and I understand the issues facing workers and tax payers and the elderly in our community,” Thapar said, adding he is always willing to listen to people, work with them and do his very best to provide straight forward answers to all questions.
Thapar said he debated whether or not to put his name forward to run for the NDP, and decided to wait until the new year to announce his intentions.
“I’ve always worked for working class families,” he said. “They have been neglected for too long. If the Liberals did the right thing I always supported them, but if they are wrong then I’m the first one to get up there and oppose them.”
Over the last 10 years, the Cariboo Region has been left out, he said.
“The benefits to the area have been very small. Through the pine beetle epidemic we heard that we were going to get a billion dollars from the federal government, “ he said, adding the region is being ignored by the provincial government. “They call us the “heartland,” but when you look at it we have lost mills, we have lost lots of production jobs, and when we talk about the wealth that is generated in the Cariboo, we never see the money coming back to area, when we are especially in need of it.”
Believing the forest industry can have a strong viable future, Thapar suggested the region also has to look at diversifying the economy, by looking at mining and other options.
“I have been here for over 20 years. I came as an immigrant with $6 in my pocket and worked my way up. When I came as a 21 year old I had the opportunity to make my life and build my future,” he recalled, adding it’s not the same for the younger generation today in the Cariboo.
“We are losing kids left and right, who are going to Alberta to work. We can do a lot better. It’s a hidden treasure here. When you look at security, safety, and natural resources, we’re lucky to have what we have,” Thapar said.