The B.C. Green Party is now represented in Kootenay East as the provincial election campaign gets underway, and it’s a four way contest in southeast British Columbia.
Yvonne Prest, a secondary school teacher from Sparwood, is on the ballot just in time for Tuesday night’s all-candidates forum in Cranbrook. She has spent the past few days on the campaign trail, and spoke to the Townsman on Monday.
“The campaign’s going really well,” Prest said. “I have an amazing team of collaborators, not just friends and environmentalists, but people who’ve been reaching out from all over the region. It’s been quite heart-warming and empowering.”
“We’ve been campaigning at local events all this past weekend in Fernie, and I was in Cranbrook all day Thursday, going door to door, speaking to local business owners, and it was was a really lovely experience.”
This week Prest will be visiting local schools, taking part in the all-candidates forum, visiting the College of the Rockies, and taking in about several fundraising events as well. “Everything is full steam ahead, and I’m just enjoying it.”
A thumbnail of Prest’s political philosophy is that environmental stewardship is important for industries to thrive, and that people need to be empowered to become involved in politics, so that issues are at the forefront for what our region needs from provincial government.
“I see myself as a vehicle to teach people about the platforms of the Green Party, which I wholeheartedly believe in,” Prest said. “They’re sound, they’re based in evidence, they’re based in science.
“I believe in Andrew Weaver as a party leader. He’s honest, he’s intelligent, he’s forward thinking, and he brings a new light to the provincial government that we haven’t seen before. Not only as an environmental leader, but also financially, and in our education systems — which matters to me as a teacher.”
Education and child care are indeed top priorities for Prest.
“As your future MLA, my top three priorities for the Elk Valley are to reestablish BC as a leader in public education; to provide free childcare and early childhood education (ECE); and to balance environmental stewardship with growing industry to ensure continued income security for all BC residents,” she wrote in a piece for the Fernie Free Press.
“And what I’ve noticed campaigning is that MLAs really are just a vehicle for the voice of the people. And that’s what I want to do — let the people of the region know what the Green Party’s about, and if they’re on board, and have certain issues or things they find that are related or specifically important to them in this region, then I’d be happy to take those to the Legislature, and be that voice.”
Yvonne Prest joins Keith Komar of the B.C. Libertarian Party, Tom Shypitka of the B.C. Liberals, and Randal Mcnair of the BC NDP on the Kootenay East ballot.
The Kootenay East all candidates forum in tonight, Tuesday, April 18, at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook.
The election itself is May 9.