Meet your candidate: Dennis Adamson, running as an Independent in Fraser-Nicola

Dennis Adamson: 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: Dennis Adamson

Age: 62

Profession: Politician

Neighbourhood you live in: Yale, B.C.

Political party: Independent

Riding: Fraser-Nicola

Previous political experience (please include years active): Currently serving my fourth term as an electoral director of rural Area B of the Fraser Valley Regional District.

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

The three political parties in the B.C. election all care about the rich and powerful corporate interests or for urban British Columbia. I wanted to be the voice for small-town and rural B.C. and raise the issues most important to the people of Fraser-Nicola, such as jobs and economic development, small business survival, fighting climate change, health-care access for small communities, affordability, transportation infrastructure and Indigenous issues. I can best do that as an Independent who is free of the strict control of political parties.

What is the top local issue at the provincial level?

The top issue facing British Columbia right now is the twin issue of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy. We need to control and get rid of the virus in our province so that our economy can start firing on all cylinders again.

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

I would advocate for the following services:

1. The replacement of the “Old Spences Bridge” that was torn down by the BC Liberals;

2. An urgent care centre for Ashcroft so that folks can have access to emergency care locally there;

3. Restoration of the old Alexander Bridge;

4. The repair of Othello Road in Hope;

5. More funding for the Hope Hospital;

6. Our two remaining forestry facilities in Lillooet and Merritt need a consistent and steady flow of timber to keep them operating through a provincial agreement to supply timber from our region to remain within Fraser-Nicola.

The funding from all these would come from within the existing budget of the B.C. government by eliminating bureaucratic waste.

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

We need to improve COVID-19 response by instituting a provincewide policy to prevent people, especially young people from congregating in crowds greater than 10 people. The province also needs to institute a mandatory B.C.-wide mask-wearing policy in publicly owned facilities and in our schools, colleges and universities. There should be an escalating system of fines for those who decide to break the law. More resources should be provided to our police departments to enforce the new rules.

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

The best way for B.C. to deal with climate change is to move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and into the realm of non-conventional energy sources such as generating energy from our limitless potential in solar, wind and tidal power. The present carbon tax is nothing but a “tax grab.” All the monies collected by the B.C. government through the carbon tax should be channelled into supporting clean technologies and into fighting climate change. At least 25 per cent of the carbon tax collected should go to our colleges and universities to support actual research in developing new technologies that keep our air, water and land clean and fights climate change. We also need an aggressive execution of a provincewide reduce, reuse and recycle policy that disciplines and rewards communities, businesses and individuals. We must also have an equally aggressive education campaign aimed at our K-12 and post-secondary educational systems, plus a provincewide educational campaign aimed at the general population pointing out the positive effects of moving to the 3-Rs.

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

Economic recovery is the number one issue. The B.C. government needs to support the existing businesses and industries, while also putting more money into the transition to the new clean and green technologies such as wind, solar and tidal energy generation.

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

First of all, we should lower the voting age to 16 and have polling stations in our schools, colleges and universities. Our school curriculums need to be changed to provide education at an early age about the necessity of voting and what it means to the future of young people. If elected MLA, I would make it one of my top priorities to go into elementary schools and high schools on a regular basis and talk about the benefits of voting and talk about our political system.

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

Spending more time with family, such as cooking and having meals with family members rather than spending time in meetings.

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