The first candidate has emerged to vie for the B.C. Liberal nomination for the North Coast riding in the May 2017 provincial election.
Herb Pond, a former Prince Rupert mayor, the voice of the CIHL’s Prince Rupert Rampage, and a member of numerous service organizations in town, formally announced his candidacy at a gathering in the Wheelhouse Brewery on Nov. 1.
His main goal was to talk to the youth in the community and let them know that he plans on being a voice for them.
“In the end, whatever happens in the next four to eight years is all about them,” Pond said.
“I’ve had a chance in the course of my career to work in some really neat areas – all of it getting a sense of what it takes to build a community. I’ve worked in local government in the mayor’s office, I’ve worked in a First Nations community and now I’m working in industry. So I have a pretty good sense of the challenges it takes and how much effort it takes for everybody to pull off [leaving a legacy for the next generation],” he said.
At the announcement, Pond complimented Prince Rupert mayor and council for trying to attract as many investment dollars to the area as possible, since everyone is always battling it out for dollars from Victoria.
“Council and [First Nations leaders] really need a partner. There’s a competition all across this province for dollars. It happens in the school districts, it happens in the hospitals, it happens amongst the municipal governments for those precious resources. I’ve had a look at this thing from a number of different angles and I think I can help,” he said.
Pond referenced the isolation and difficulties Rupert municipal leaders face in advocating for their city in Victoria, often involving multi-day trips, plane rides and hotel stays.
Pond chose to vie for the B.C. Liberal nomination because it’s the best way to move Prince Rupert forward, he said.
“To me, it’s really about Rupert and what’s the best vehicle to ensure that Rupert’s voice is raised up in a place that matters and in my view, in this time, doing it through the B.C. Liberal Party is the way … I’ve seen what can happen when a really effective MLA is working with the government and I’ve seen the difference that can happen when you’re not in that situation, so I have a strong sense of wanting to help,” Pond added.
The ex-mayor said the party is in the process of vetting him and the process is still in its early stages, but he’s looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“Tonight is about asking the younger residents in the community, ‘what would they want from me if I was to do this?’”