The writ has been dropped, signs are going up on lawns and the rhetoric is flying.
In Skeena-Bulkley Valley five candidates are currently vying for the seat.
Incumbent Taylor Bachrach of the NDP won the riding in 2019 by a healthy margin garnering roughly 41 per cent of the vote to Conservative challenger Claire Rattée’s 33 per cent.
Bachrach was mayor of Smithers when the previous NDP MP Nathan Cullen announced he would not run again. A two-and-a-half term mayor of Smithers, Bachrach’s first foray into politics was in Telkwa where he served one term as councillor from 2009 – 2011.
Prior to the dissolution of Parliament, Bachrach served as the New Democrats’ Transport critic focussing on rail safety and north coast tanker traffic.
He is the former owner of Bachrach Communications, a media consultancy firm based in Smithers and is an avid cyclist, paddler and skier. He lives in Smithers with his wife Michelle and two daughters.
Rattée, also a first-time candidate in 2019, is also back in the mix this time around.
Prior to running as the Conservative candidate in the last federal election, Rattée served one term on the District of Kitimat council.
She lives in Kitimat where she and her partner Colton run two small businesses.
Rattée is staunchly behind resource development and better access to mental health and addictions services, drawing on her own personal history of substance abuse.
The Green Party is the only one in the local race that has a new candidate on the ballot.
Adeana Young is Haida and previously served on the Old Masset village council and is currently a trustee for School District 52 Haida Gwaii.
She said she is running for the Greens because their platform most closely aligns with Indigenous approaches to the issues.
In the 2019 election the Green Party had its best result in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Environmental activist Mike Sawyer claimed almost eight per cent of the vote to finish fourth behind Bachrach, Rattée and Liberal candidate Dave Birdi.
The field is rounded out by two more veterans of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley campaign trail.
Rod Taylor is a perennial campaigner for the Christian Heritage Party, of which he is the federal leader.
A long-time resident of the Bulkley Valley with his wife Elaine of 43 years, Taylor is a tireless promoter of socially conservative values including rescinding legal abortion.
He and Elaine have two adult children and four grandchildren.
Taylor finished fifth in the field of eight who contested the riding in 2019 with 3.3 per cent of the vote.
Jody Craven will be making his second appearance on the ballot. Craven was nominated again by the People’s Party of Canada, which was brand new in 2019.
A long-time employee at Rio Tinto, Craven is now in the process of completing studies in social work.
He finished sixth in 2019 with 2.3 per cent of the vote.
The Liberal Party has yet to announce a candidate for 2021.