Jody Craven is fed up with politics as usual.
So much so that the former Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) supporter decided to cut ties and join the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) as their candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley.
The PPC announced Craven as the party’s candidate in late May.
He said he sees the PPC as a party that is truly for the people, as opposed to the Conservative/Liberal dichotomy that has existed over the country’s history.
“[We’re] going to be working for the people. We’re putting Canadians first,” he said, adding he feels the Liberals and Conservatives don’t benefit the average Canadian.
“They are basically working for the one per cent.”
Craven recently retired from Rio Tinto and has lived in Kitimat since 1980.
Over the past twenty years he has volunteered extensively with youth sports and foster parent organizations in the area.
As someone who has never run for office, Craven acknowledged hitting the trail has been a learning experience, but it’s one he said he has embraced.
“Every day is a learning [curve], every day you have to have room to grow, everybody has a story [and] I take their needs and concerns and I try to address them.”
Discussing problems facing Canada, Craven points to a focus on diversity as opposed to unity.
“Canada is not a country of diversity, Canada is built on unity. If we stay together as one, we’re strong. But for the last 30 years it’s only been two parties in power.”
Pointing to unemployment and lack of affordable housing as two problems within Skeena-Bulkley Valley, he said letting more natural resource companies open up shop in the north would help put extra cash in workers’ pockets.
Craven feels criticisms against natural resource development — namely liquid natural gas (LNG) — are unfair as Canadian environmental standards surrounding resource development are among the strictest in the world.
“We have to get our resources to the market for top dollar instead of sending this stuff down to the States.”
The Kitimat resident had previously been involved with the Conservative’s electoral district association and was himself a nominee for the party within the riding for the upcoming federal election.
He said he made the shift to the PPC, in part, because he is fed up with federal partisanship and how the Conservative party treated Maxime Bernier in the aftermath of the party’s 2017 leadership election.
Above all, Craven said his goal is to be a voice for those who feel the current two-party system has taken theirs away.
“The people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley need their voices to be heard in Ottawa — we have to start making [ours] louder.”