B.C. Green Party candidate to run in Richmond. From over 600 km away
Greg Powell has a challenge ahead of him.
The B.C. Green Party candidate in the riding of Richmond South Centre is facing off against Linda Reid, a BC Liberal MLA who has sat in the legislature for almost 26 years, and who more recently served as the legislative speaker.
He’s also going to do most of his campaigning in Castlegar, a community in B.C.’s Kootenay region, about 624 km away from the riding he is running in.
Family and work commitments will keep Powell, the minister at the Castlegar United Church, in the Kootenays save for 10 days prior to voting day, he told Global News.
The writ drops on April 11, with the election happening May 9.
That means he’ll be present in the riding he hopes to win for less than half of the 28 campaigning days before election day.
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“I’ll do most of my campaigning via social media and with the volunteer team that we have on the ground there,” Powell said.
He plans to reach out to voters using tweets and Facebook posts, as well as videos.
“A lot of residents don’t get a chance to meet their candidates anyway,” he said.
“So if I can put myself in recorded format and allow them to invite me on to their computer screens, it can be a more intimate response than having a card left in their mailbox.”
Powell obtained a Master of Divinity at Toronto’s Emmanuel College in 2014, the same year he took up his ministry.
He has worked at the Pembina Institute, where he headed an effort to promote renewable energy in Alberta, said a B.C. Green Party news release.
Through his activism, Powell has focused on issues such as indigenous rights and climate justice. He’s currently the secretary for the West Kootenay EcoSociety, a non-profit that works to protect the environment in the region.
In this role, Powell has taken a stand against the Jumbo Glacier Resort, a ski area proposed for the Purcell Mountains.
Building a ski resort on its proposed site would amount to “desecration,” as it would be located in Qat’muk, the home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit, according to the spiritual beliefs of the Ktunaxa people, he wrote in an article for the EcoSociety.
Powell knows he’s up against some tough competition in Richmond — in addition to Reid, he’s also facing city councillor Chak Au, who is running for the BC NDP.
What chance does he have of succeeding?
“I’m not a betting man,” Powell told Global News. “So I’ll leave that up to the residents of Richmond South Centre.”
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