Thompson eyes election in Chilliwack-Hope

Glen Thompson, a well-known spokesman for the Friends of The Chilliwack River Valley, says he's considering a run for elected office in the provincial Chilliwack-Hope riding.

Glen Thompson, a well-known spokesman for the Friends of The Chilliwack River Valley, says he’s considering a run for elected office in the provincial Chilliwack-Hope riding.

“I’ve been approached by a political party to seek the nomination in Chilliwack-Hope,” Thompson confirmed Wednesday.

He said taking citizens concerns about gravel removal, forestry and the environment to the Fraser Valley Regional District has proved futile because that body is “powerless” to effect change.

“The fight is really at the provincial level,” he said, which prompted him to consider running for political office in the Chilliwack-Hope riding.

“Let’s talk to the real brokers of power, which would be the province,” he said.

The riding is currently represented by B.C. Liberal MLA Barry Penner. He is currently the Aboriginal Affairs Minister and the Attorney-General. Previously, he was the Environment Minister.

But Thompson – and others – complain that Penner is often unavailable to hear their concerns.

But Penner said as environment minister he helped organize two meetings in the Chilliwack River Valley last summer, bringing residents and government officials together to talk about a controversial gravel removal operation.

Residents opposed to gravel removal in the Fraser River have also complained in the past about the difficulty of meeting with Penner.

Although a provincial election is not scheduled until May 14, 2013, Thompson said he wouldn’t be surprised if Christy Clark, the interim premier, calls an earlier election.

He said Clark’s reasoning might be 2013 is too long for the province to be governed by an unelected premier. Clark was elected Feb. 26 by the B.C. Liberal membership to lead the party. As the new leader, she is also the province’s premier until an election is held.

 

Thompson predicted a fall election because the B.C. New Democrats won’t have a new leader until an April 17 vote, and summer elections are rarely called because it’s vacation time for many voters.