At a recent nomination meeting for the Liberal candiate for Boundary-Similkameen, Linda Larson said she is up for the challenge.
“British Columbia needs a Liberal government to keep us ahead of the ongoing economic crisis,” the candidate said at the Oliver legion hall.
“We need a fiscally responsible government that will keep our taxes under control and our businesses competitive in a global marketplace.”
Larson, former Oliver mayor and business owner, said the government is committed to educating young people with its ongoing support of programs like “Junior Achievement.”
“I sat on that board for five years; it teaches kids from Grade 4 up how to run a business from a lemonade stand to a multi-corporation. It also teaches them the cost of a box of cereal, because how many kids think they’re going into the world and they’re going to live on cereal – it’s the most expensive thing there is.”
Larson noted the importance of getting students interested in trades that teach basic business skills to all ages so that the young and not so young can stay in BC and earn good wages.
Larson said she believes BC Premier Christy Clark is one of the strongest premiers the province has ever had. “She has had to make tough decisions based on what’s best for the majority of British Columbians despite a very vocal minority.”
Larson said Clark doesn’t sit on the fence and is not afraid to make hard choices. “I hope you will see me as having some of those attributes also.”
While her background is business, she is just as concerned about maintaining extremely high standards in the health care system.
“My husband and I care for my 92-year-old mother who lives with us, and believe me, I know how many times she goes to the doctor. “
Larson said they also just had their 12-year-old grandson diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which means every time he puts a piece of food in his mouth he has a shot of insulin to go with it.
“The BC Liberals have done a tremendous amount, put a lot of money into diabetes care, and my grandson will have the best possible care, and I intend to work very hard for that, for my family, and of course for yours.”
Larson said a strong healthy business community ensures that there will be tax dollars to support health, education and social services. She borrowed a phrase from an Indian band chief who said it takes an economic horse to pull a social cart.
Larson said she has accepted this challenge amidst some unusual circumstances, but she believes “we can rise above the less than friendly press of the past few weeks and put a strong BC Liberal team back in Victoria.”
Larson said she has noticed that the people coming on board to run as Liberal MLAs across the province are not what you would call the old, standard politician. These people are younger, very involved in their communities and come from extremely well educated backgrounds
“I think that the new BC Liberal government will look a lot different than what it has, the old traditional, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”
She said in all businesses, no matter what they are, people retire from the top and new blood comes in from the bottom, and if it doesn’t, you die. So it’s not a bad thing that there’s changes in government. “It’s a business, it needs changes as well . . . having been through a lot of different businesses and travelled all over the province, that is a good thing.”
Larson said she is really energized by this political challenge, but she needs the public’s support to get through to the May election.
“I couldn’t be happier with the people that are here. Now, while some of you may think there’s not very many of them, I think the people here are the most important people that I would want to see, and they represent, as I said, every corner of this riding.”
Larson said she wasn’t going to forget to mention Walter Despot, who was mayor of Keremeos when she was mayor of Oliver. “He’s here today and Roger Mayer is here from that area as well; he chaired the regional district board. All of these people are extremely involved in their communities, and I’m expecting them to advise me on what the issues are in your area and how I can help you.”
Larson said there will be a lot of work in the next couple of months, a lot of work in the background before all the signs go up and the fancy publications go out.
“I need you to work behind the scenes, I need you to talk to people, and I will come to your area and meet whoever you want me to meet at any time.”
Larson noted she has a family and her family comes first. “When politics is no longer in your life, if you don’t have family left, you’re done. So I will always put my family first, but I will give everything I’ve got to this campaign.”