There’s a new kid in town

Dianne St. Jean

New political party emphasizes representation for rural BC

A new political party has been formed to represent residents of rural BC, including north and central areas, according to a media release this month.

The party, Rural BC, was formed in response to concerns over the imbalance of representation in the province, where, the article says, the voice of “voter-rich areas of the Lower Mainland and Southern Vancouver Island” tend to get the upper hand while rural BC populations are neglected.

Jonathan Van Barneveld, the party’s interim leader, who is also current councillor with the District of Houston, says, “The people of rural BC are no longer willing to sit on the political sidelines. We are a major economic driver of the province, but we are increasingly forgotten about and neglected. Many communities are on life support and have never had the opportunity, or the means, to diversify their economies and truly flourish.”

The party promises to be a viable alternative to the major political parties.

Says Darcy Repen, Mayor of Telkwa, “To properly represent the voices of rural BC, we believe that it is critical our representatives have full independence to represent their constituents, rather than Victoria’s wishes.”

The party is currently working to establish support in BC’s 23 rural ridings.

Van Barneveld believes there will be broad support of the new party as an alternative for rural BC residents.

“The party is new and fresh,” he says, “and we’re looking for everyone’s feedback, support and comments as we continue to grow and build our campaign.”

Their website is ruralbc.ca.