Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor wants to represent the NDP in Boundary-Similkameen. Taylor was born in Oliver and has two daughters. He lives on a small farm just outside of Grand Forks.
Brian Taylor’s father left him with several pieces of advice, but the one that stands out – don’t just break bad rules, change them.
So he’s keeping that in mind as he runs for the Boundary-Similkameen riding in the May 14 provincial election.
The Grand Forks mayor has filed his nomination papers as the NDP candidate.
He was born in Oliver in 1946 and grew up in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. His grandfather and father both managed fruit co-ops in the South Okanagan. His father, Jim Taylor, was an RCMP officer, fighter pilot and a lay magistrate.
Brian managed non-profit societies for 20 years, and in 1983 represented the NDP in the Central Okanagan.
He was elected as mayor in Grand Forks and served from 1997 to 1999, and again from 2008 to the present. He was once the leader of the BC Marijuana Party and has been an active community volunteer (he ran the fall fair, served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Boundary Lodge Housing Society). Along with his mayoral responsibilities, he also serves as a director on the Regional District of Kootenay and the Regional Hospital Board.
Taylor said the timing of his running for Boundary-Similkameen is right, noting Grand Forks is beginning to prosper, they have a new energetic administrator, and their major industries are stable.
“The city has an asset management plan that will provide the long-term security of our infrastructure and I am in the perfect life space to participate in the provincial political scene, my health is great and my mind is sharp.”
Taylor said he hopes to see a closer working relationship between regional and municipal governments and the province. “I am acutely aware of the roadblocks local government runs up against at the provincial level. I am excited about the commitment of the NDP to do politics differently. I think this can start by having a new honesty with voters in this election, and I hope I can be an example of that commitment to change.”
Taylor said he would bring an emotional maturity to the table. “I enjoy debate, have a sense of humour and I can communicate with most people.”
He also pointed out his involvement in every aspect of his community. But he admitted that politics is not his life. “I have many other interests in life including my grand children and my music.”
Taylor said nothing can match the challenges of being mayor in a small town. “Decisions that we make as a council are further debated at the checkout line at the grocery store. Some of the most pointed attacks are on the deer issue which has been left entirely to local government to address.”
Taylor said an MLA should have a strong work ethic. He or she must not hide from controversy and criticism. “Read, listen and consult before speaking and always be respectful of others’ opinions. Having said all that there are times when all around you disagree and you need the steel to stand alone.”
Taylor said people have been talking to him about many issues, including cattle on sensitive grass lands, deer, employment insurance problems, foreign workers, air quality, HST/PST, medicinal cannabis, and homelessness.
For Taylor, the NDP has always reflected his political beliefs, but in 1983 after running for the party against the premier in his own riding, he felt it necessary to speak up on the dangers of the just emerging gaming industry.
“I warned at the danger to charities and the damages to service clubs and volunteer organizations and the addiction of government to this new revenue. I was booed off the stage and alienated. I will be a team player but I will not be bullied.”
Taylor has two daughters and two grandchildren and lives on a small farm just outside of Grand Forks.