On your marks, provincial candidates get ready

Political candidates are opening their Terrace campaign offices around town in preparation for the upcoming provincial election

Political candidates are opening their Terrace campaign offices around town in preparation for the upcoming provincial election.

Incumbent NDP Robin Austin, the MLA for Skeena, will have  BC Conservative Mike Brousseau as a  neighbour a few doors down in the Lazelle strip mall where both are opening new campaign headquarters.

“It’s a bit odd to have another opponent so close but that’s a good part of our democracy … close together or not makes no difference,” Austin said.

Brousseau is driving a donated (and fixed up) pick-up for his campaign, which will share the parking lot with Austin’s compact.

While Brousseau had supporter Lloyd Wittkowski coming by to drop off oranges one recent afternoon, Austin emphasized that his supporters are typically of modest means, especially compared to the BC Liberal party.

Brousseau has benefitted from whatever help he can in the community.

Across town, B.C. Liberal candidate Carol Leclerc was accompanied by provincial justice minister Shirley Bond who was in the area on government business and who then made time to host the official opening of her campaign office March 25 in Terrace.

In her address to the gathered supporters, Bond highlighted the important work to be done in this area, noting the packed airspace on her way in.

“It’s great to have all this growth but we have to manage everything that comes with it,” Leclerc said to the group.

She’s been attending everything from meetings focused on women’s rights to a comedy night in Kitimat, baking cookies as thank-you gifts to her volunteers, and going door-to-door.

Brousseau said he has spent the last week knocking on doors as well and working on a plan to build a residence on Little Ave. that will provide counselling and job coaching to give people “not a handout but a hand up.”

Austin was down in Victoria until a few weeks ago, attending the final sitting days of the legislature and says that he thinks it will be a tight race here.