Kitimat resident Jody Craven has announced he is now the candidate for the upstart People’s Party of Canada in this fall’s federal election.
His announcement comes just months after he unsuccessfully ran for the Conservative Party of Canada’s candidate for the Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding.
Undaunted, Craven said on Monday that he’s running on a platform that puts Canadians first.
While not opposed to immigration, Craven says he wants the amount reduced, saying at the current level, integrating new arrivals into Canada is difficult.
“We’re not integrating them into our society,” said Craven.
In particular, Craven said much more needs to be done to improve services for senior citizens.
“We need to work to reduce the cost of prescriptions and provide affordable housing for our seniors,” he said.
Craven also zeroed in on the federal policy of equalization payments, saying there should be a fairer distribution to the provinces.
Craven also backs the continued development of a Canadian liquefied natural gas industry, saying exporting the fuel will benefit the world.
“Canada may only produce 1.5 per cent of pollution but if we help China, then globally we will help the world,” he said.
A retired Rio Tinto smelter worker, Craven is now taking post-secondary courses at Coast Mountain College.
Craven was one of two candidates vying for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination earlier this year, losing out to fellow Kitimat resident Claire Rattée.
The People’s Party of Canada was formed by Maxime Bernier, a Member of Parliament from Quebec who held several cabinet portfolios under former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Following the Harper government’s defeat in 2017, Bernier ran for the Conservative party leadership in 2018, coming in a close second to winner Andrew Scheer.
Bernier formed the People’s Party of Canada in Sept. 2018 and in a statement announcing his resignation from the Conservative Party of Canada said it has “abandoned conservatives. It does not represent them anymore.
And it has nothing of substance to offer Canadians looking for a political alternative.”
The party did run a candidate in the Feb. 2019 by-election for the lower mainland riding of Burnaby South, receiving 11 per cent of the vote.
The by-election was won by current federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.