Green party candidate John Kidder and party leader Elizabeth May were in Harrison Hot Springs last Friday for a town hall as part of Kidder’s “lightning tour” of the riding. Grace Kennedy/The Observer

Green party leader, local candidate visit Harrison in riding ‘lightning tour’

Elizabeth May and husband John Kidder stopped by the Harrison Corner Cafe for a townhall Friday

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and local candidate John Kidder made a stop in Harrison on Friday, July 12 to discuss the concerns of residents and address their questions.

The meeting, which took place in the morning at Harrison Corner Cafe, was part of Kidder’s “lightning tour” – which began Thursday in Mission – of the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding. Friday’s events started in Harrison, and saw Kidder travel to Boston Bar, Lytton, Lillooet and Ashcroft with party leader and wife May.

RELATED: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

In Harrison, five residents showed up to discuss their thoughts about the riding with the politicians, including Harrison Coun. Michie Vidal, who brought up the long-standing issue of the proposed quarry on Hot Springs Road.

Although Kidder said he was aware of the issue, May wasn’t and listened to Vidal’s description of the protests against Timbro’s proposed quarry.

RELATED: One year later, still waiting on Kent quarry decision

“As an activist, as an environmental activist, I would have been on the ground to make sure that got stopped,” May said. “As a federal party leader, I have to say, ‘How do we get in on this?’”

She said she would talk to the Green Party at the provincial level to discuss the application, as it is a provincial issue. Kidder also asked about Kent council’s approach to the quarry proposal, and said he would reach out to the council to discuss it.

Vidal also brought up council’s recent discussion on a proposed Fraser Health clinic that would be partially paid for by Harrison property taxes, as well as the village’s single-use plastic ban that is currently undergoing consultation.

Kidder was in favour of the proposed plastic ban, and said that many times the community can take on legislation and embrace it.

“The community gets engaged to the point that people are really proud of the fact that they don’t (sell single-use plastics),” he said. “They see somebody walking down the street with a plastic bag and they’ll get challenged: ‘Where did you get that bag? … We don’t do that here.’

“That’s the kind of stuff that can really spread and really gel.”

RELATED: Harrison to develop single-use plastic bylaw in advance of federal legislation

Harrison festival director Andy Hillhouse was also at the meeting, and asked about the Green Party’s position on arts funding. Kidder said arts and culture were a key part of the Green’s platform, but the main challenge is to get grants to the different organizations.

“It’s not just giving money away so people can play tunes,” he said about funding for the arts. “This is what brings people to town; this is what helps people to stay here.

“It seems to be it’s easier to get money in the big city,” he added. “They (have) the big theatre, they (have) the big draws and the big acts.”

Smaller communities, he added, need help to access that grant funding and need to have expanded funding opportunities.

The talk on arts funding led into a further discussion on the challenges of small towns, which is what predominately populates the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.

RELATED: New civic building proposed for Harrison Hot Springs

“The other smaller towns in the riding are really sucking air,” Kidder said. “Councils are competing with each other as to who can hire the best grant writer.

“And if you think about something that’s a profound indecent irony of policy, is that people who should be able to count on tax revenue to support their community are competing with each other as to who can write the best grants … We need to actually look at communities and say this is where people live, this is where they pay taxes, let’s find the money to get to the communities.”

While Kidder was discussing small-town problems and possible solutions – including the Green idea of a council of Canadian governments, from municipal councils up, so the different levels of government can better talk to each other – May was discussing the current provincial government in Alberta and the Trans Mountain pipeline with two residents.

The meeting ended with discussions on the Green’s approach to First Nations communities, including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women report.

The federal election will be held Oct. 21 of this year, and Kidder’s townhall in Harrison wasn’t the first campaign event in the area.

Conservative candidate Brad Vis also held a townhall in Agassiz in April.

RELATED: Federal Conservative candidate talks budget, riding issues in Agassiz

Friday’s townhall also won’t be the last time Kidder stops by the riding before the October election.

He said he plans to come through the area every couple of weeks to hold a community meeting and speak to residents.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Green party leader Elizabeth May joined husband John Kidder on his tour of the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding Friday. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Just Posted

Cupcake Family Picnic officially launches at Honda Way in Abbotsford

Signed Vancouver Canuck Brock Boeser #6 jersey will hang in showroom until being auctioned off in March 2020

Students at old Abbotsford school trained for the war

Philip Sheffield High School had firing range in basement

Abbotsford’s Remembrance Days in 1939 and 1945 through historical archives

Abbotsford News reporting shows the anxieties of people living through conflict

Remembrance Day service at Thunderbird Memorial Square

Event in Abbotsford on Monday, Nov. 11 hosted by Royal Canadian Legion

VIDEOS: First-ever PPW champion crowned in Abbotsford

Highlights and results from Saturday’s Championship Tournament event

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Coquihalla drivers urged to be careful amid freezing rain alert

Special weather statement in effect for highways between Hope, Merritt, Kamloops and Kelowna

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

14 SeaBus cancellations, free rides for veterans from TransLink on Remembrance Day

Free rides also available for current Armed Forces members, first responders

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read