Former Mayor and MLA to seek Liberal nomination in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo – CFJC Today Kamloops

Former Mayor and MLA to seek Liberal nomination in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo - CFJC Today Kamloops
Former B.C. health minister Terry Lake seeking federal Liberal nomination in Kamloops
The Liberal Party of Canada has attracted a high-profile candidate in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo. Former B.C. Liberal minister and Kamloops mayor Terry Lake is hoping to be the party’s nominee in the fall’s federal election.

“I am confident that the Liberal Party of Canada and I think it is important that Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo and British Columbia as a whole has a strong voice in that government,” Lake said.

As of Tuesday, the Liberals had nominated five candidates in unheld ridings, according to the party. One of the most high-profile is former TV anchor Tamara Taggart – the Prime Minister presided over her nomination meeting – running in the Vancouver Kingsway seat that New Democrat Don Davies has held since 2008. In 2015, he won with an 18-point lead over the Liberal runner-up. All of the partys B.C. incumbents are seeking re-election.

Terry Lake, Former B.C. Health Minister, Seeking Federal Liberal Nomination In Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

“For too long, we have not had a strong voice in Ottawa to advance British Columbia’s views.”

Mr. Lake was a high-profile member of the BC Liberal government under premier Christy Clark. As environment minister, he was at the forefront of pipeline policy. As health minister, he articulated the government response to the opioid crisis. The two-term member of the provincial legislature announced in 2016 that he would not seek re-election in 2017. That vote led to the end of the BC Liberal government.

The experienced politician will seek the Liberal nomination in his home riding. A nomination meeting has not been set yet.

The NDP has 15 candidates ready to go, with three other nomination meetings planned for this week. The mix of incumbents and newcomers includes Laurel Collins, a Victoria city councillor seeking to succeed Murray Rankin as the MP in Victoria. And former MP Svend Robinson is seeking a political comeback as a candidate in Burnaby-North Seymour.

The riding has been Conservative since it was formed in 2004. Cathy McLeod won the seat with 24,595 votes, a 1,139 ballot margin over NDP candidate Bill Sundhu in the 2015 election. Liberal candidate Steve Powrie finished a close third with 21,215 votes.

There is no question that there are some conservative-minded people who have supported me as a BC Liberal that will have difficulty supporting the Liberal Party federally. Others who have talked to me have said they are generally not Liberal supporters but they will support me, he said.

“Even in the rural areas, people are willing to consider more than just one party these days. I think having a candidate that has demonstrated their commitment to their constituents will be meaningful to people when they make their choice,” Lake said.

Lake served as Kamloops’ mayor from 2005 to 2008 before making the jump to provincial politics. He then served as an MLA from 2009 until 2017, when he walked away from politics.

The Conservatives have nominated candidates in 28 ridings, a mix of incumbents and newcomers such as former Kelowna city councillor Tracy Grey in Kelowna Lake Country and Byron Horner, executive producer of the IMAX film Great Bear Rainforest, who is running in Courtenay-Alberni.

The longtime politician served in high-profile roles in Christy Clark’s cabinet as minister of the environment during the debate over the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline, and health minister during the ongoing fentanyl crisis.

The question becomes [whether] Conservative voters say, We really like Terry Lake but were not going to vote for him under a Liberal banner, or are they motivated by, `Hey, well, Terry Lake. Hes a good guy. We would consider voting for him as a Liberal.

“When I made the decision in 2017 not to run again, I thought I was done with politics. I have had the opportunity to now work in the private sector and I have really enjoyed it,” Lake said.

Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, said Tuesday that Mr. Lakes interest opens up the possibility of the Liberals being competitive in a riding usually associated with the Conservatives, who won by about five points in 2015.

“I see the choices we have in front of us and some of the progress we have made on issues like climate change, Indigenous reconciliation, the child benefit that has lifted so many families out of poverty. I’m really concerned that we would not continue that momentum in a very progressive way.”

Before entering politics, Lake worked as a veterinarian. He is currently the vice-president of corporate social responsibility at cannabis company Hexo Corp.

According to Ms. Kurl, the key question in B.C. is whether the Liberals can maintain their support among the New Democrats who voted for them in 2015 to head off another term for the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

“Getting through legalization was a terrific experience and I really wasn’t thinking about getting back into public life,” Lake said.

The ranks of prospective B.C. candidates for this falls federal election have gained a high-profile contender with former provincial health minister Terry Lake announcing his bid to become a Liberal MP.

Lake says he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January in Kamloops. The pair discussed the ongoing drug overdose crisis and providing more federal support.

Terry Lake poses for a photo after leaving the Legislative Assembly one last time before retirement at legislature in Victoria, B.C., on March 16, 2017.

He says the recent SNC-Lavalin scandal made him think hard about “whether I wanted to get back into politics.” Lake says he is convinced the issue is about people having a different interpretation of events.

“I know there are different opinions but I know as a cabinet minister, there are always disagreements that occur and that is politics. At the end of the day, you have to decide if you want to be part of the team and I have decided this is the team I want to be a part of,” Lake said.

He said he decided to run because he likes Liberal policies on issues such as climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A former British Columbia politician who stepped away from provincial politics two years ago is ready to return, but this time he hopes to run federally.

Former B.C. health minister Terry Lake confirms he will seek the federal Liberal nomination in B.C.s southern Interior riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

The riding covers an area from Kamloops in the south to Valemount and the Alberta boundary in the northeast.

Nearly three-quarters of the districts population is centred in Kamloops, where Lake, a veterinarian, has served as councillor, and then mayor between 2002 and 2008.

Lake has spent the last two years as vice-president of corporate and social responsibility at Quebec-based marijuana company Hydropothecary Corp.

He says a nomination date has not been set but expects the Liberal riding executive to do that sometime in May or June.

“While no government or party gets everything right, Im convinced that the Liberal Party of Canada is the best choice to keep our country moving in the right direction,” Lake says in a Facebook post announcing his candidacy.

The former health minister also says Canada must create a federal strategy to address the overdose crisis and provide treatment programs.

In addition, Lake is calling for a climate action plan that transitions away from fossil fuels “but in a way that does not strangle the economic growth of our country that supports important services like health care, education and other social services.”

Photo gallery Liberal MPs Who Arent Running In 2019 See Gallery Terry Lake, Former B.C. Health Minister, Seeking Federal Liberal Nomination In Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo 1 / 8 Liberal MPs Who Aren't Running In 2019 1 / 8

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