Meet your candidate: Mike Bhangu, running as an Independent in Fraser-Nicola

Mike Bhangu: 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: Mike Bhangu

Age: 43

Profession: City councillor for the City of Merritt. Nonfiction Author. Occasional Actor.

Neighbourhood you live in: Merritt, B.C.

Political party: Independent

Riding: Fraser-Nicola

Previous political experience (please include years active): I am currently a city councillor for the City of Merritt. I was elected in 2018.

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

Our communities are regressing. Our communities require healing immediately. We can begin by helping the family, the retiree, small business, and those who suffer from mental health concerns. I stand as an Independent because the political parties permitted the regression.

What is the top local issue at the provincial level?

Mental health is taking a toll on our communities. We must address this problem now. If we do not, what will our communities look like in 20 or 30 years? There is no more time to waste.

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

In Victoria I will fight for the family, those who suffer from mental health, small business, and the retiree. One requirement to helping is putting money in people’s pockets. When people have money in their pockets, they can solve their own problems.  

These concerns I list concern all communities and if we can address these areas, our communities will again progress.

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

We require more information, and we must find a method to deal with this without shutting down communities and without destroying the entrepreneur.

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

To encourage responsible and ethical industry and consumer behaviour.

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

Our communities are regressing and the tip of the sword is mental health. Mental health concerns will decimate our communities. We must take action now.

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

By presenting an Independent option. The people of all ages are tired of government and the political parties behind the wheel. I hope that seeing an Independent out there is encouragement enough to vote.

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

The pandemic provided an opportunity for me to fine tune my creative skills. I enjoy creating art, books and music. I also walked much more. I guess it prepared me for this election. 

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