Jackie Tegart, MLA in the riding of Fraser-Nicola, is the first Liberal nominee to be elected as the Party candidate for the upcoming provincial election, which will take place on May 9, 2017.
Tegart was acclaimed as the party’s choice in Fraser-Nicola at the candidate selection meeting held in Cache Creek on Saturday, May 7.
“I totally enjoy this job,” says Tegart. “I know we’re going to have the strongest team putting out the best message to make B.C. the best place on Earth.” She’s also happy to have such an early nomination, so she can “continue to do the good work the party has been doing”.
She says that the B.C. Liberal party is on a “path to success”, despite the NDP labelling them as “heartless”. “Those who are most vulnerable are very important to us.” She cited several success stories in the area during her time as MLA, including doctor recruitment, the new paramedicine program, and work on area roads.
“We’re working hard for the people in our riding.” She notes that she has been in every community in the riding, meeting annually with every council and regional district, as well as First Nations, and has held “Coffee with Jackie” sessions. “I don’t wait for people to come to me; I like to go into the community.”
She acknowledges that there are a number of issues out there that are not easy to solve, particularly regarding biosolids. “We’re determined to take a look at biosolids and the science around them and respond in an appropriate way,” she says, noting that a science panel is currently analyzing the issue and that a report is expected in July. “We appreciate people who are passionate about an issue; it means it’s time for us to take a look in response.
“Botanie Valley is a contentious issue. The file is very active, and we’re working on it, as well as working with the community and First Nations to look for a solution.”
Tegart says she does presentations at schools, where she talks about the most important issues students will face in their lifetimes. “I talk about where I came from, and how I got where I am. I talk about ways they can get involved—by volunteering, or being on student council—and then tell students that what I do is just a different level of service to the community. It’s about building relationships, and how all the things that you do build who you are.”
Transportation Minister Todd Stone was at the candidate selection meeting, and said that Tegart is “truly authentic. If she says she’ll do something she’ll do it, or die trying.
“One of the best things about getting into politics is making new friendships, and I enjoy working with Jackie. As caucus chair she’s practically in cabinet, and has the ear of the Premier and cabinet ministers.
“It’s one reason she’s accomplished more than Harry did,” Stone continued, referring to Harry Lali, who represented the riding for four terms as an NDP MLA and cabinet minister. Lali announced last week that he is running for the NDP nomination in Fraser-Nicola, and Tegart admits he would be a challenge.
“Polling indicates he has name recognition, and knows how to get the press,” she says. “But it’s easy to sit across the aisle and be negative.
“We have a fight ahead of us,” continues Tegart, and Stone agrees. “The next election is going to be one of the nastiest we’ve seen,” he says. “It’s going to be very personal and very negative. Jackie Tegart has your back in Victoria. She’s a great woman getting great things done for your constituency.”