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ELECTION 2020: Meet the candidates of the Nechako Lakes riding

MyBulkleyLakesNow reached out to each of the candidates in Nechako Lakes for their response to the following:

  1. What are the most important issues facing the residents in your riding and how would you address them?
  2. Tell the voters why you are the best candidate to represent your riding.


Margot Maley, Independent

Maley is a mother of three sons with one grandson. She has been a hockey mom in the Omineca Hockey League for 16 years and volunteer and Director for the Fort St James Minor Hockey Association.

Margot Maley (Photo provided by Margot Maley)

She worked as a Customer Service Representative at Service BC, a Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Officer for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Maley has also worked for School District 91 as a substitute teacher, janitor and casual bus driver. In addition, she has worked for Binche Keyoh Community and Northern Spirit Transportation as a bus driver.

  1. Well, I do believe we have a lot of issues. Job losses due to Covid.  Small businesses and restaurants managed to stay open with take-outs and keeping their services going. But not all communities have the same dynamics. Our farmer’s market in Fort St James closed for the summer, no business fairs organized, craft fairs shut down, entrepreneurs and free enterprise shut down.  Fraser Lake residences on shutdown along with the surrounding areas staying home. As I moved west last weekend I saw communities with the Malls and stores open but not everyone is back to work. I spoke with a store owner in Vanderhoof last week who had an employee leave because they had qualified for CERB leaving the store owner to hold the load. It wasn’t as busy but now that things are opening up and business is getting better, she has hired someone else to fill that gap.  Solution,… We need to open up the economy fully and get back to work. I’ve been saying this for 6 months already. Shutting down the economy makes poor people poorer and affects everyone and everything. Mental Health is a huge issue. We are designed to work and when we don’t, self-worth and self-esteem diminish. Neighbor pitted against neighbours, the world around us gets crazy. People need to get back to work and foster stability to all.
  2. I’m the best person to represent this riding because I’m an ordinary person with a passion to make a difference and be a voice for the people. I am not a career politician, I have stepped out of my comfort zone to stand up for what matters. I believe in Sovereignty, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Beliefs, Freedom to Choose, Freedom to Breathe and all Freedoms written under the Constitution of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Our Land of Canada. I see our rights and freedoms being chipped away and I just couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. There is a saying and many know this one… “..evil prevails when good people do nothing.” I believe there is corruption in the government, we’ve been watching that for some time now roll out in the Federal Government but don’t be fooled, it’s trickling into Provincial… I’m not the only one who believes this. There are freedom marches across the land, in every province but mainstream media doesn’t tell you that. The media news giants are covering the numbers of Covid cases in the land but they don’t tell you that the recovery rate is 99.76%. Fear is the virus and Trudeau threatens another lockdown!
Jon Rempel (Photo provided by Jon Rempel)

Jon Rempel, Libertarian

Rempel grew up on a remote cattle ranch on the Blackwater River between and the Chilcotin, he has lived and worked in the riding his entire adult life. He is am 46 years old and has been a Fort Fraser resident for 27 years. Rempel has worked as a logger, miner and prospector before starting a business with his wife and longtime partner Dawn, they’re now small scale logging contractors specializing in select and partial cut single grip harvesting. He spends a lot of time outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking rockhounding, and camping with his family.

  1. Well, I would say the most important issues facing the riding of Nechako-Lakes are access to healthcare in a timely manner, high auto insurance costs, high BC hydro bills, and government policy designed for the masses in the lower mainland. Our economy is quite well here right now because we are getting a pipeline, but after that, in two or three years we will be left with an economic vacuum, we have to foster an environment to grow a strong circular type local economy, take care of more of our own needs locally and sell our products near and far. We need to ax ICBC ( remember we Libertarians are the original abolish ICBC party), we should allow competition to BC Hydro, to produce power using clean natural gas, hydroelectric, or nuclear and sell it to the main grid in a competitive business environment. We need to allow private clinics for MRIs and CAT scans and other non-urgent health care needs, to free up the public system to deal with the urgent health care needs of British Colombians.
  2. I am the best candidate represent the riding of Nechako~Lakes because I am not a career politician, I will make our voice loudly heard in Victoria, my party does not have a party whip, which allows me the flexibility to vote and make decisions that best suit the needs of my riding, not my party. My office would be equally accessible to all constituents in the riding.

John Rustad, BC Liberal Party (Incumbent)

Rustad was born and raised in Northern BC, he and his wife and call Cluculz Lake home. He was first elected in 2005 and has had the honour of serving the people of Nechako-Lakes since then, including as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for just over 4 years. Prior to politics, he owned and operated Western Geographic Information Systems Inc. with offices in Houston and Prince George. In addition, he was also a School Trustee for SD57 from 2002 to 2005.

  1. Forestry, rancher’s rights, seniors care and facilities, hospital replacements, and road improvements are significant issues facing Nechako-Lakes. As the representative for Nechako-Lakes, I will advocate for strengthening our forest sector through cost reductions, stumpage modernization, silviculture investments, and fibre utilization. Ranchers deserve to be at the centre of agriculture policy and I will advocate for changes to make sure their rights and needs are addressed while securing ALR objectives. Critical investments are needed to improve existing care facilities and build additional capacity. In addition, I will advocate for a tax credit to help families support seniors to stay in their own homes. I am committed to the replacement of the Stuart Lake hospital as well as to the replacement of the Saint John hospital as hospitals are the core of health services in Nechako-Lakes. In addition, a plan is needed to make sure we have the staffing necessary to successfully provide the quality healthcare we need. Funding for road improvements in Nechako-Lakes has been reduced by more than half. I will advocate for a return to previous funding levels as our roads are busier than ever and improvements are necessary.
  2. I am asking for your support to continue to represent Nechako-Lakes. My understanding of the riding helps me to advocate for our needs and my experience helps me to navigate how to get things done. It has been an honour to serve you and I hope to be able to continue to fight for the needs of the people of Nechako-Lakes.

Anne Marie Sam, New Democratic Party (NDP)

Anne Marie Sam (Photo provided by Anne Marie Sam)

Sam’s background is as a community advocate and researcher. She has been a school trustee for School District 91, a councillor for the Nak’azdli First Nation, and most recently worked as a senior political advisor to the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Sam has a BA in History and is working on a Master’s in mining engineering. She’s been invited to speak internationally, including at the UN in Geneva and NYC and the World Bank in Washington, about the work and research she has done with communities in Nechako Lakes. Sam has a deep connection to the land, loves to pick berries, and to indulge in a London Fog latte. 

I am also a proud member of the Nak’azdli First Nation. And proud to live in Fort St James where I’ve raised my three amazing kids. 

  1. As a large, diverse riding in the North, we have so many unique needs. Nechako Lakes is made up of strong, resilient communities. Access to quality infrastructure and services like health care and home care. Help to make life more affordable, whether that’s with child care, housing, or car insurance. And ensuring there are good, family-supporting jobs and opportunities across the riding while protecting our lands, air, water and wildlife. And safe ways to travel between our communities. These are some of the priorities I’ve heard through my conversations with voters. We are proud to live in the north, as industry changes we want our communities to thrive. We want there to be opportunities for our kids to stay in the north. To ensure a strong future for our communities we need to support existing industry and also diversify. Agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism have been the backbone of our way of life. We need to support these industries sustainably and develop new opportunities too.  We need an MLA that has a seat at the table to make these needs heard in Victoria. After years of neglect, the NDP has already begun to take action. I will continue that work and be a strong advocate for the North and for Nechako Lakes in a John Horgan government.
  2. My family has lived here for generations. And though at certain times in my life I’ve lived in other places, the North always calls me back.  This is a large riding, with many unique communities. But we have a lot in common: we are all connected to the lands, the waters and the resources that sustain us. And we want to see our children, and future generations be able to live and prosper here the same way. As Northerners, we’ve become accustomed to being left out of the wealth we contribute to the province. For far too long, we’ve watched our resources leave the riding with little in return for workers, families and communities. But that’s started to change under the BC NDP government. That’s why I’m excited to be the MLA and be part of an NDP that respects our roots and our way of life. We need a voice in government that is passionate about all of our communities and represents everyone. My career has been about fighting for the land and the people of the North, and, that’s what I want to do as your MLA. You can count on me to speak up for Nechako Lake.

Dan Stuart, Christian Heritage Party

Dan Stuart (Photo provided by Christian Heritage Party Website)

Stuart is President of CHP-BC. His parents were loyal Tommy Douglas CCF followers, who didn’t realize there was a change, when the name changed to NDP. By the time Dan was old enough to vote, he was sold on Conservatism. It was his mother-in-law who introduced him to CHP. Today, Dan is ready to defend pro-life, fighting for the protection of innocent human life, the restoration of traditional marriage and family, and the defence of personal freedom. He also believes the Victoria legislature has too many corrupt MLA’s, so is willing to give the constituents a new breath of fresh air. For most of his life, Dan has driven vehicles and equipment, but he also worked in sawmills, a pulp mill, and in the oil patch as a Safety Supervisor, as well as doing Hotshots. He also was First Aid and Fire Supervisor at a coal mine.

  1. I would say our values would be towards pro-life, Family values, removal of LGBTQ and SOGI from school curriculums as well as making it illegal for any form of Gender re-assignment to be brought into the classroom. Get rid of the Scam emic and kick start the economy by getting people back to work, not onto welfare. Although we do have a lot going on work-wise, I believe fair paying jobs top the list.
  2. I would work to call a halt to the Scamdemic and try to get investment into the district. Well, I think I would be the best candidate to represent them due to the fact I seem to be the only one concerned about the current grab for more power by the powers that be. No-one seems to want to wrestle with the UN’s Agenda 21 or many of the other social issues. I believe they are the core of our provincial as well as federal problems.



Election day is Saturday, October 24th. Polls will be open from 8 am to 8 pm. For a complete list of places to vote in the constituency, click here.

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