The first man has jumped into the race for the NDP nomination in the Skeena riding for the next provincial election.
Bruce Bidgood, associate professor of social work at the University of Northern BC campus here, says he’s running because this riding is going to be remarkably important in the upcoming election.
“I want to do everything I can to make sure Skeena is retained as an NDP riding and that the NDP forms the next provincial government,” said Bidgood, Aug. 26.
The riding will be important in the election because the retirement of incumbent MLA Robin Austin could leave the riding vulnerable which sometimes happens and since the last election, there’s been lots of interest in this area, from industry and from the Christy Clark government trying to produce an atmosphere of support for the government here, said Bidgood.
However, since the current MLA is a white male, the NDP is looking for a candidate ideally who is a woman, aboriginal or has a disability.
“Equity is an important value of the NDP and one I share personally,” said Bidgood.
“My understanding is after a white male (incumbent), the NDP makes a special effort to recruit people from equity-seeking groups,” he said, adding that the first two nomination hopefuls, Sarah Zimmerman and Nicole Halbauer, are respectively, a woman and an aboriginal woman.
And he’s a white male with an invisible disability as he is hearing impaired, having lost a great deal of his hearing when he worked in industry to pay his way through university, back when health and safety regulations weren’t as strict as they are today.
Bidgood has been a member of the NDP for about 30 years and says his political experience, he was a city councillor for a term and was the city rep on the regional district during that time, is one of his strong suits.