Gerry Taft chosen to represent BC NDP in Columbia River-Revelstoke

Mayor of Invermere chosen as NDP replacement of outgoing MLA Norm Macdonald in spring 2017 provincial election.

  • Oct. 16, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Gerry Taft will represent the NDP in the riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke in the 2017 provincial election.

By Eric Elliott, Black Press

District of Invermere Mayor and small business owner Gerry Taft has been named as the representative of the BC NDP to represent Columbia River-Revelstoke in the upcoming 2017 provincial election.

“I am very grateful for the support I received from members across the constituency,” he said, following the vote count. “It’s very exciting and a little bit scary. A lot of work has gone into working on this and I’ve kind of indicated that the next step is working on the provincial election and trying to ensure that the Columbia River Revelstoke seat remains an NDP seat.”

The announcement came on Saturday afternoon after Mr. Taft garnered the majority of NDP member’s support throughout the riding, which was announced in Golden at the party’s nomination convention. Taft is currently the owner of Gerry’s Gelati Café, with locations in Invermere and Radium, as well as the Stolen Church Coffee Co. He entered municipal politics at the age of 20 and is currently in his third term as mayor of Invermere.

Taft’s main competition will be BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok, who was defeated by current MLA Norm Macdonald in the 2013 election.

Macdonald, who has been the representative for the riding since 2005, endorsed Taft and will be working with him throughout his campaign before Election Day on May 9, 2017. Taft said working with Macdonald has been a great experience so far and could give him an upper edge as Election Day looms closer.

“Leading up to this, Norm’s been a huge mentor and provided a lot of inspiration and I really look forward to the opportunity to work beside him over the next number of months to learn more about ropes and more about positions and the issues in the various communities throughout the riding,” he said, noting that he’s going to try to continue some of the work that Macdonald has already done.

“Continuing the style of politics that Norm McDonald has already had and being a really effective voice for local people and that means not just representing Victoria back to the ridings but representing local interests to government and trying to have influence both within the party and provincial government.”

With that said, Taft said he understands that there is a lot of work to be done in the coming months to win over voters who are looking to pick the riding’s first new MLA in over a decade. For he and his team, that starts by making stops throughout the riding with Macdonald in Kimberley (Oct. 27), Revelstoke (Oct. 25) and Invermere (Oct. 28) to learn more about the issues locally that voters care about.

“I think a really constant theme that I think is going to be very important for our region is around global decision making and the ability for local residents to be involved in setting their own destiny and setting their own course in making decisions in their own communities that affect them and not having to have things decided in Victoria imposed on them,” he said.

Taft said that while he’s going to be running for provincial office, he stresses the importance of a local MLA advocating for the region to help local communities achieve what they can as he did as mayor of Invermere, working to get a $2 million grant for the new multi-use currently centre under construction.

With the race now on for the new MLA of Columbia River Revelstoke, Taft said he is expressing his thanks to endorsers and nominators who showed faith in him before getting started on his campaign.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us as we build our campaign team across the region, and that work starts today.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Most Read