Meet your candidate: Brandon Russell, running as an Independent in Kamloops-North Thompson

Brandon Russell: 1 on 1

As part of Castanet's 2020 election coverage, candidates in Kamloops-South Thompson, Kamloops-North Thompson and Fraser-Nicola were emailed a Q&A. Below is the completed questionnaire, along with an on-camera interview recorded earlier this month at the Castanet Kamloops office. Due to the distance of travel, Fraser-Nicola candidates were not asked to participate in an on-camera interview.

Name: Brandon Russell

Age: 19

Profession: Activist 

Neighbourhood you live in: Sun Rivers

Political party: Independent 

Riding: Kamloops-North Thompson

Previous political experience (please include years active): Model UN (2017-20) 

In three sentences or less, what inspired you to enter the election race?

The lack of youth representation in politics really fuelled my passion to run. Young people have so many great ideas, and can bring a new voice to politics!

What is the top local issue at the provincial level?

I think the issue that so many people are struggling with right now is affordable housing. In the wake of COVID-19 this is showing us we need affordable housing now more than ever. 

What local project or service would you advocate for more provincial spending? Where would that money come from?

I would love to see expanded services to Car 40, as well as more health services in Kamloops including mental health. The best way to get more heath services funded provincially would to be look at a wealth tax. 

How could the B.C. improve its response to COVID-19? 

I think we need to look more at Dr. (Bonnie) Henry and all the amazing work she has done. Listening to science helps as well!

What is the best way for B.C. to deal with climate change?

Stop funding programs that cause emissions. But do so in a realistic way that supports workers, and the economy. 

Beyond Kamloops, what is the number one issue facing B.C. (besides COVID-19)?

So many families have been affected by the opioid crisis here in B.C. We need to have a response that saves lives, and doesn’t just through people in jail. 

Younger voters typically vote less than older voters. How will you engage and encourage young voters to participate in democracy this election?

I am probably the only person that can answer this effectively. As a young person myself I want people that speak to me in office. The youngest MLA in B.C. is 35, no one in my generation has a voice to look up to. 

What hobby/activity have you picked up during the pandemic?

I have started online Model UN conferences for people all around the world! Starting a movement of young social and climate activists around the globe! Over 1,500 people from 107 countries took part in something that I helped create. It was an eye-opening experience!

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